Steady Economic Growth Continues, Fed Says in Beige Book Report

The U.S. economy expanded at a "modest to moderate" pace across much of the nation in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, giving a picture of stable economic growth despite recent signs of weakness.

In its Beige Book report of anecdotal information on business activity collected from contacts across the nation, the central bank said the pace of economic growth appeared similar to that observed in its previous report released in early September.

"Most Districts reported overall growth in consumer spending that ranged from slight to moderate," the Fed said, saying their reports were generally in line with comments gathered in the prior Beige Book.

One exception was in the retail sector, where general merchandise stores in New York said sales had weakened. That appears consistent with data released earlier on Wednesday that showed a decline in retail sales in September.

The Fed also noted that a number of districts reported "modest" wage growth, while several saw upward wage pressures in industries like construction and manufacturing.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)