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Beige Book: Housing Market Turning Around

Beige Book: Housing Market Turning Around
10/10/2012 2:22 PM ET

The U.S. housing market has shown "widespread improvement," but economic activity has improved only modestly in recent months, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book.

The central bank releases its anecdotal findings on the state of the economy across the Fed's 12 districts eight times a year.

The report showed that 10 of the 12 Fed districts reported modest growth, up from nine in the previous report. Only the New York and Kansas City districts saw a leveling off or slowing growth.

Consumer spending was generally reported to be flat to up slightly since the last report, and conditions in manufacturing appeared to be slightly improved, respondents told the Fed. There was little growth in the labor market during August and September according to the Beige Book, but last month's official jobs report showed the national unemployment rate falling to 7.8 percent.

With the labor market showing few signs of picking up in the late summer, the Fed was compelled to offer further support for the economy on September 13.

In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015.

Policy makers also decided to keep in place the Operation Twist program that swaps short-term bonds for longer-term assets.

by RTT Staff Writer

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