US regional highlights from the Federal Reserve's July Beige Book economic survey

  • Article by: CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER , AP Economics Writer
  • Updated: July 17, 2013 - 4:35 PM

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew throughout the country from late May through early July, bolstered by the housing recovery, consumers and more factory output.

A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday, known as the Beige Book, showed eleven of the Fed banking districts reported "modest to moderate" growth, while the Dallas-based district reported "strong" growth for the second-straight survey.

The report, known as the Beige Book, is based on anecdotal information gathered by the regional banks. Here are some highlights:

BOSTON (includes Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and part of Connecticut):

The economy expanded at a moderate pace. Hotel and restaurant sales rose, driven up by business travel and entertaining. Few companies are hiring, though firms in technology and life sciences are adding jobs. Some real estate firms expect rising interest rates will encourage more home sales as buyers seek to lock in lower rates.

NEW YORK (includes New York and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey):

Economic activity expanded at a moderate pace, boosted by housing and tourism. Manhattan hotels reported occupancy rates above 90 percent, similar to a year ago, and healthy revenue growth. Broadway theater attendance remained weak.

PHILADELPHIA (includes Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey):

Economic growth was moderate. An auto dealer said sales were "on fire." Banks lent slightly more than they did in the late April-May period. Manufacturers that supply home builders stepped up hiring to meet strong demand.

CLEVELAND (includes Ohio, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia):

The economy improved at a moderate pace. Hiring picked up in manufacturing and home construction. New car sales so far this year are ahead of last year's. Mortgage refinancing has fallen as interest rates have increased.

RICHMOND (includes Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, District of Columbia and part of West Virginia):

Economic activity strengthened moderately, boosted by more consumer spending and factory orders. Temporary hiring picked up as many firms were reluctant to add permanent workers. A lumber company executive said this has been the company's best year since 2007, but added that it won't hire new full-time workers until next year.

ATLANTA (includes Georgia, Alabama, Florida and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee):

The economy expanded at a modest pace as auto and home sales rose and hotels and restaurants reported strong demand. Ports in the district said there was significant growth in international trade compared with a year earlier, including exports of natural gas.

CHICAGO (includes Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Illinois and Indiana):

Business activity expanded at a moderate pace as consumer and business spending increased. Several retailers said health care reform would cause them to hire more part-time and temporary workers. Manufacturing output increased, propelled by the auto industry.

ST. LOUIS (Includes Missouri, Arkansas and Kentucky, and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi):

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