Economy grows at moderate pace

By Charles Riley, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Economic growth continued to expand moderately over the past few weeks, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

In its latest snapshot of regional economic conditions, the Fed reported that manufacturing, retail and non-financial services sectors were strong in most regions.

But some sectors did not fare as well. The Fed said residential real estate market remained weak nationwide, as did commercial real estate construction.

The Fed did offer measured optimism on employment, another sector that has not matched the improvement of the economy at large. The Fed reported that the labor market "appeared to be firming somewhat" in most areas, but noted that wages remained stagnant.

Known as the Beige Book, the report summarizes economic conditions in the central bank's 12 districts across the nation, and is released eight times a year. The report will help set the tone for the Fed policy meeting set to take place Jan. 25-26.

Across the board, retailers told the Fed that sales appeared higher in this holiday season than last year, and in some cases, exceeded expectations. That suggests consumers are opening their wallets, a trend reinforced by an increase in tourism in most parts of the nation.

Inflation remained in check, the Fed said. While some producer costs moved higher, the price increases were not passed on to consumers due to competitive pressures.

The Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Dallas districts all said "activity increased modestly to moderately," the report said. Meanwhile, the economy of the Minneapolis district "continued its moderate recovery," while San Francisco "firmed further." To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 32,627.97 -234.33 -0.71%
Nasdaq 13,215.24 99.07 0.76%
S&P 500 3,913.10 -2.36 -0.06%
Treasuries 1.73 0.00 0.12%
Data as of 6:29am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET


Bankrupt toy retailer tells bankruptcy court it is looking at possibly reviving the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands. More

Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford charts her career path, from her first job to becoming the first openly gay CEO at a Fortune 500 company in an interview with CNN's Boss Files. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.