"Eight districts characterized growth as moderate; of the remaining four, Boston, Atlanta and San Francisco reported modest growth, and Chicago indicated activity had improved," a news agency reported, citing the latest survey report of the central bank, also known as the Beige Book.

It noted that consumer spending rose in most districts, reflecting, in part, strong demand for automobiles and housing-related goods. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector expanded modestly.

"Residential real estate activity increased moderately in most districts, and demand for non-residential real estate gained overall," the report said. "Reports from several districts suggested that rising home prices and mortgage interest rates may have spurred a pickup in recent market activity, as many 'fence sitters' were prompted to commit to purchases," the survey report stated.  

"For most occupations and industries, hiring held steady or increased modestly relative to the prior reporting period," the Fed noted. Inflation was still tamed as the Fed said that upward price pressures ‘remained subdued’ and price increased only ‘slightly.’

The Beige Book is based on economic information provided by the Fed's 12 regional banks and is released eight times a year to provide a snapshot of the local economy.

It is updated two weeks before each of the Fed's policymaking meeting. Fed officials will consider the report in a September 17-18 meeting as they continue a debate on when to start reducing its USD 85-billion monthly bond-buying programme.

Investors usually seek clues from the Beige Book for the central bank's policy intentions. Fed officials have signalled the monetary policy outlook hinges on the health of the US economy.


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