America

Economy Expanding At Moderate Rate, Fed Says

Doors for a Chevy Sonic hang on the assembly line at General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, in 2011. i i

Doors for a Chevy Sonic hang on the assembly line at General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, in 2011. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Doors for a Chevy Sonic hang on the assembly line at General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, in 2011.

Doors for a Chevy Sonic hang on the assembly line at General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, in 2011.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The U.S. economy held steady with "modest to moderate" growth between early July and late August, as Americans bought more cars and auto factories ramped up hiring.

The Federal Reserve's so-called Beige Book, comprising reports from 12 geographic districts around the country, showed that manufacturing activity "expanded modestly" and that several districts reported that "demand for inputs related to autos, housing, and infrastructure were strong."

"Chicago highlighted the auto industry as a main source of strength for that District's overall manufacturing sector, and contacts there expect demand for heavy and medium trucks to ratchet up further and to support growth in overall manufacturing for the remainder of the year."

The Associated Press says: "Recent economic data has been mixed, but not weak enough to suggest any upset to a sluggish recent recovery, which is slowly bringing down unemployment."

The Beige Book report also pointed to activity in the real estate market, saying "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." It also noted an uptick in tourism and a modest improvement in the nonfinancial services sector.

Hiring, it said, held steady or increased somewhat in most regions, with St. Louis in particular reporting increases in employment in manufacturing.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.