Commercial tenants in New England are seeking lease renewals with shorter terms, the Federal Reserve’s eight-times-a-year survey of the nation’s regional economy, colloquially called “the Beige Book” after the cover of its print edition, has found.

The compendium of anecdotes about the nation’s economy is gathered from regular conversations researchers and directors in the Fed’s 12 regional branches have with key business figures, economists, market experts and others.

Leasing volume remains low, the Fed reported, save “a few time-sensitive transactions or lease renewals” in Hartford. In the Hartford area, tenants sought very short periods when they went to renew leases or otherwise sought to postpone decisions on lease renewals. The Fed also reported progress in the investment sales market, but noted that new projects were either pulled off the market or not started.

Business sentiment remains “cautious and observant,” the Fed said, although rent collection continues to be a challenge.

“Most office and industrial tenants were able to pay April rents, but retail tenants struggled. May rent collection was expected to be challenging, and lenders and landlords have been considering payment relief measures,” the report states.

The Beige Book also noted potential pending trouble in the retail and restaurant sectors: “A contact for one coastal area reported a stark increase in inquiries about bankruptcy procedures from small retailers,” while many of the restaurants across New England which attempted takeout-only business found it neither sustainable nor profitable.