WASHINGTON — A Federal Reserve survey shows the U.S. economy strengthening over the past two months in areas from manufacturing and construction to retail sales and bank lending.
Seven of the Fed’s 12 regions – Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco – reported “moderate” growth during the early spring, while the remaining five described growth as “modest,” according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday.
Retail sales were reviving, helped by pent-up demand for new cars after the harsh winter, the survey found. Manufacturing was expanding in all regions, along with lending. One weakness was home sales, held back in large part by a tight supply of available homes.
The Beige Book is based on anecdotal reports from businesses and will be considered along with other data when Fed policymakers meet June 17-18.