I've always felt like these government agencies are continuously moving the goal posts around so that everything appears like they're doing a good job so everyone can keep collecting their paycheque and government benefits. I don't want to read a massive wall of text, I'd rather see charts that show what's really going on.
"Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources." 
If you want charts and analysis, find yourself some data/market color providers in the finance industry. Additionally, most finance professionals that need to know about this stuff keep an eye on the economic calendar  to see the info in real time as news breaks, because the market reacts immediately.
For clarity, the Fed is NOT a government agency.
To some extent you´re right, the people involved are under a lot of political pressure to only publish the favourable stuff (although the occasional cry for help can sometimes be discerned from the footnotes), but the data is there. As are the reports. The real trouble is nobody seems to be reading them.
Make no mistake--the Federal Reserve is not a government agency. It is a Central Bank, organized by a consortium of bankers to control the money supply of the United States and, by effect, the world. Episode 201 of the fantastic podcast Congressional Dish really gets into the nuts-and-bolts of what the Federal Reserve is, how it was created, and what it does.
"Trade" is mentioned three times in this one paragraph. I wonder to what extend this factor is being over-blamed for macro slowness.
Interesting to compare this report with the one from June 2007, at the cusp of the implosion:
> Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Banks indicated that economic activity continued to expand from mid-April through May. Seven banks described growth in their Districts as modest or moderate: Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, New York, and San Francisco. Dallas reported growth as moderately strong, and Minneapolis said the District's economy edged up. Philadelphia reported that growth was somewhat faster than in recent months, and Richmond said growth picked up a bit. Boston characterized reports from its contacts as generally positive.
Now, it makes almost no sense to move them. After 1935, the Banks have had fairly limited power.