Lower oil prices and the stronger dollar were depressing activity in several sectors, notably manufacturing, agriculture and energy exploration, according to the latest Federal Reserve's report on current economic conditions. The report, known as the Beige Book, found that manufacturers in Boston, Cleveland, and Chicago, and the farm sector in Texas and California were being hurt by weaker demand for exports due to the high value of the greenback. Energy exploration declined in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas and North Dakota due to reduced demand from lower oil prices. Overall, the report found moderate growth in six of the Fed's 12 districts, with mixed but generally slower growth in the other regions. The report covers conditions from early January through mid-February.
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