Fed survey: Growth picks up across most of US

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 16, 2014 at 2:26 pm •  Published: April 16, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey shows economic growth picking up across most of the United States over the past two months as bitter winter weather subsided.

Ten of the Fed's 12 regions reported an increase in economic activity, according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday. In most places, the Fed described the improvement as "modest or moderate." Only Cleveland and St. Louis reported slower growth.

In March and early April, consumers took advantage of better weather to go shopping. Manufacturing expanded across most of the country. Ports and highways were busier. Across most of the country, home prices rose modestly and homebuilding picked up. Tourism was "generally positive." In several districts, ski resorts reported record years.

The Beige Book is based on anecdotal reports from businesses and will be considered along with other data when Fed policymakers meet April 29-30. Confident that the economy is improving, the Fed has been scaling back bond purchases meant to push long-term interest rates down, encourage consumer and business spending and spur economic growth.

Economists are hoping that growth will pick up as the weather gets warmer. Despite a slow, chilly start this year, the economy is expected to grow 3 percent this year, the fastest pace since 2005, two years before the Great Recession hit.

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