The U.S. economy continues to expand at a modest pace, with weaker activity in some districts, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.
In its latest economic performance survey, the central bank saw "either modest or slight expansion" in districts including St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. But growth in other districts including New York remained sluggish or more slowly.
The survey, known as the Beige Book, was based on economic information supplied by the Fed's 12 regional banks and collected during the reporting period from mid July to August 26.The Fed said that recent stock market volatility and increased economic uncertainty had led many districts to downgrade or become more cautious about the near-term economic outlook.Consumer spending "increased slightly" in most districts since the last report, said the Fed. However, but non-auto retail sales were flat or down in several districts. Manufacturing conditions were "mixed" across the country.
U.S. residential and commercial real estate remained "weak overall", but improvements were noted in several areas.The Fed also noted that labor market conditions "were generally stable" with some districts reported modest employment growth.
The survey found fewer price pressures in majority of districts, but input costs continued to rise in select industries.Government data showed that U.S. economy grew 1.3 percent in the second quarter and 0.4 percent in the first three months. The White House projected that the overall economy will increase only 1.7 percent in 2011