Lots of information in the Beige Book to digest. 538 notes:
The overall conclusion of both these report is clear: the economy is expanding, albeit at a slower pace. Personal consumption expenditures are in an uptrend, business investment is increasing and real estate -- while not a hot bed of activity -- is not the drag it once was. However, there is still a long way to go. The unemployment rate is still incredibly high and initial unemployment claims need to start dropping soon.
There appears to be little discussion given to the fact that a flat housing market hinders mobility for workers, contributing to flat jobs numbers. Otherwise, we're about where we should be: Conservative purchasing by consumers (including paying down debt) and some green shoots in the economy in areas where we hope to see them.
It does appear that the worries of a double dip recession are behind us, but IMO the longer we are in a slow rebuilding phase the better it is for the economy long-term.