Fed Says U.S. Economy Improving

The U.S. economy continued to improve over the past month on gains in manufacturing, but firms are feeling the effects of higher energy and raw material costs, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.

"While many districts described the improvements as only moderate, most districts stated that gains were widespread across sectors, and Kansas City described its economic gains as solid," the U.S. central bank said in its Beige Book summary of economic conditions.

"Manufacturing continued to lead, with virtually every district citing examples of steady improvement, often with reports of increased hiring," the Fed added.