Fed: Econ­omy ex­pands in 9 of 12 ar­eas

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Paul Wise­man

wash­ing­ton» The Fed­eral Re­serve says the econ­omy ex­panded across most of the United States in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary.

The Fed says in its lat­est snap­shot of the econ­omy that most of its 12 re­gional banks re­ported steady growth. The At­lanta and San Fran­cisco banks de­scribed growth as mod­er­ate. The Philadel­phia; Cleve­land; Rich­mond, Va.; Chicago; St. Louis; Min­neapo­lis; and Dal­las banks called the econ­omy’s ex­pan­sion mod­est.

The Bos­ton Fed said busi­nesses were “up­beat.” Only the New York and Kansas City Fed banks re­ported that eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity was “es­sen­tially flat.” Colorado is in the Kansas City district.

Growth in con­sumer spend­ing, which ac­counts for about 70 per­cent of U.S. eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, was “slight to mod­er­ate” in most dis­tricts.

Most man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries — ex­cept for au­tomak­ers and aero­space man­u­fac­tur­ers — “dis­played a weak­en­ing in ac­tiv­ity.”

Fac­to­ries have been hurt by a stronger dol­lar, which makes Amer­i­can-made prod­ucts more ex­pen­sive in for­eign mar­kets. The dol­lar rose 10 per­cent last year against ma­jor cur­ren­cies.

The re­port, known as the Beige Book, will be used for dis­cus­sion when the cen­tral bank meets Jan. 26-27. Last month, the Fed raised the short-term in­ter­est rate for the first time since 2006.

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