The Federal Reserve report – known as the Beige Book – shows that economic activity increased in eleven of the twelve regions surveyed. The lone hold-out was the St. Louis region, but this is still an improvement over the last report which showed improvement in only nine regions.
The report suggests that an increase in consumer spending is having a positive effect on the economy and retailers are experiencing increased sales. In some areas, the increases are significant.
Despite the growth, economists expect the Fed to hold the line on interest rates when the FOMC meets later next week. Bernanke has been quoted on more than once occasion lately saying that he expects interest rates to remain capped at 0.25 percent for “an extended period”.