PHILADELPHIA—Economic growth generally ranged from slight to moderate in most of the 12 Federal Reserve districts in late December and early January, according to the latest Beige Book issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Boston reported the strongest growth, while New York and Kansas City said economic activity in their districts was mostly flat, according to the report issued Jan. 13.
Atlanta and San Francisco reported moderate growth, while Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Dallas described their growth as modest, the Beige Book said.
Consumer spending was light to moderate in most districts, and auto sales were slightly off from previously high levels, the report said. Manufacturing was generally down, except in motor vehicles and aerospace, it said.
The strengthening of the dollar had a negative impact on demand, according to some districts. The effect of low energy prices was mixed, the report said.
Residential and commercial real estate markets generally improved, according to the Beige Book. Loan demand grew, credit quality improved and loan delinquencies fell, it said.
This was the first Beige Book to be issued since the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised interest rates Dec. 16. The federal funds rate—the rate at which banks lend to other banks—was raised from near zero to ¼ to ½ percent. This was the first time the FOMC had raised interest rates since 2006, and the first time since 2008 that they had been raised above zero.
The Beige Book is issued every several weeks by a different Federal Reserve district. Each report is based on information received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve.