The U.S. economy continues to expand at a modest pace, but with weaker or less certain outlook, reported the Federal Reserve 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 twelve regional banks and collected during the reporting period from August 27 to October 7.
"Contacts generally noted weaker or less certain outlooks for business conditions," said the central bank.
The Fed said that consumer spending "was up slightly" in most districts since the last report, with auto sales and tourism leading the way in several of them.
Business spending increased somewhat, but many Districts noted restraint in hiring and capital spending plans.
U.S. residential and commercial real estate remained "weak".
The Fed also noted that labor market conditions "were little changed, on balance, in September", with some districts reported only limited and selective demand for new hires.
Government data showed that U.S. economy only grew 0.9 percent in the first half year. It is expected to grow faster in the second half of 2011, but may not overpass 2.5 percent.