Economic growth remained "moderate" or "modest" in most districts through mid-November, according to the Beige Book, released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.
The Boston, Minneapolis, and San Francisco districts reported "moderate" growth, while Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, and Dallas said they grew modestly. Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Kansas City termed growth "slight." Richmond said economic activity was "mixed," while New York reported activity was "flat since the last report."
"Outlooks were mainly positive, with six Districts expecting moderate growth," the report noted.
Mixed demand for manufactured products resulted in part from the strong dollar clamping demand in a few districts.
"Business service firms saw rising activity, especially for high-tech and information technology services," the report stated.
Retail sales were improved in a majority of districts, with apparel and furniture especially strong and new motor vehicle sales down.
"Tourism was mostly positive relative to year-ago levels," the report noted. "Residential real estate activity improved across most Districts. Single-family construction starts were higher in a majority of Districts, while multifamily construction reports were mixed. Activity in nonresidential real estate expanded in many Districts."
The labor market tightened, according to seven districts. "Districts noted slight upward pressure on overall prices."