Economic activity stayed weak, according to reports from the 12 Federal Reserve districts, but the pace of decline has moderated or begun to stabilize, albeit at a low level, according to the Fed Beige Book report released yesterday.

Five districts characterized activity as “slow,” “subdued,” or “weak,” while Chicago and St. Louis said the decline seemed to be moderating, and New York, Cleveland, Kansas City and San Francisco reported signs of stabilization. Minneapolis said the district’s economy had contracted since the last report.

“Most districts reported sluggish retail activity. Cleveland, Richmond and Minneapolis noted further declines in sales, although results were somewhat mixed or positive according to retailers in the Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City, and San Francisco districts,” the report said.

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