U.S. economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace early in 2012, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book revealed Wednesday.
Growth was most pronounced along the East Coast, particularly in the Philadelphia and Atlanta districts. Activity expanded at a moderate pace in the Midwest and San Francisco, according the anecdotal information gathered by the Fed.
Manufacturing continued to expand at a steady pace across the nation, with many Districts reporting increases in new orders and spending in the auto industry.
Reports of consumer spending were generally positive except for sales of seasonal items, and the sales outlook for the near future was mostly optimistic, the Fed noted.
In a positive sign for the jobs market, hiring increased slightly across several Districts, and contacts in a variety of industries faced difficulties finding skilled workers.
by RTT Staff Writer
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