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Fed's Beige Book sees steady growth, spending up, job conditions improving

Despite significant upset in financial markets, Federal Reserve officials believe growth is progressing.

According to the Fed's "Beige Book" of economic conditions, officials there see the economy moving at a modest-to-moderate pace, with consumer spending gaining at a slight-to-moderate pace.

Other details from the report show New York retailers optimistic, with upbeat reports on tourism and most districts showing better real estate growth. Also, banking and employment conditions are expanding. However, employers continue to report difficulty with finding skilled workers.

Wage growth remains modest, though the Fed believes price pressures will remain modest.

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Building in Washington.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Building in Washington.

"Most Districts reported that some employers had difficulty finding qualified workers for certain positions," the report said. "A number of Districts characterized overall wage growth as modest, but reported upward wage pressures for particular industries and occupations, such as skilled labor in construction and manufacturing."

There was little change from recent Beige Books, though New York retailers "noted that sales were weaker on balance since the previous report."

The release comes on a day when financial markets are en route to their worst day of the year, with the S&P 500 index plunging 2.6 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding more than 400 points.

The report did little to cheer markets, with major averages staying solidly in the red.

Elsewhere in the economy, auto sales were considered "generally positive." Manufacturing had "stalled" in New York and was "weaker" in Boston, though it was "positive in a number of districts."