Beige Book: The informal, commonly used name for the ongoing Fed reports titled, The Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions, by Federal Reserve District. Published eight times a year just before each Federal Open Market Committee meeting on interest rates, this report is used to inform members of the committee on changes in the economy since the last meeting.
How the Beige Book is compiled: Each of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its district. Anecdotal information comes in such forms as reports from bank and branch directors, interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts and other sources. The information summarized in the Beige Book is organized by district and sector.
Significance of the Beige Book for the Federal Open Market Committee: The primary goal of FOMC meetings is to establish a target Federal Funds rate. FOMC members also receive economic forecasts (the Green Book) and an analysis of monetary policy alternatives (the Blue Book), but the Beige Book is the only of these reports made available to the public. Often eagerly awaited by investors and economists, the Beige Book has a considerable impact on the potential actions the FOMC may take at its next meeting. The Beige Book is made public approximately two weeks before the FOMC meets.
Sources: Investopedia, Federal Reserve Board, Investing Answers