RTTNews - While the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report said that economic activity continued to be weak going into the summer, it noted that most of the twelve Fed districts indicated that the pace of decline has moderated or that activity has begun to stabilize.

The Beige Book report released Wednesday is a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions from each of the twelve Federal Reserve districts. The report is typically released about two weeks before the Fed's monetary policy meeting is held.

Economic activity was described as slow, subdued, or weak by five of the districts, while the Chicago and St. Louis districts reported that the pace of decline appeared to be moderating.

While the reports from the New York, Cleveland, Kansas City, and San Francisco districts also pointed to signs of stabilization, the Minneapolis district said the economy had contracted since the last report.

The Fed said that most districts reported sluggish retail activity, with consumer spending in the early summer below year-ago levels. With households continuing to be price conscious, several districts noted that consumers focused on purchasing less expensive necessities.

Auto sales were mixed across the country, although the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, and San Francisco districts said that sales of used vehicles continued to be strong or were strengthening.

While the reports on the manufacturing sector remained subdued, the Fed said that they were slightly more positive than in the previous Beige Book report.

The Fed said, Many Districts characterized manufacturing activity as remaining depressed but with selected signs of modest improvement.

Similarly, the district reports regarding non-financial services industries were largely negative, although they included a few bright spots.

With regard to employment, the Fed said that all twelve districts indicated that the labor markets remain slack, with most sectors either reducing jobs or holding them steady.

However, the report showed that the Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, and Minneapolis districts saw selective hiring, including attempts by some firms to take advantage of layoffs elsewhere to pick up experienced talent.

The Fed added that districts reported generally modest price changes across sectors and products, with competitive pressures holding prices down.

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