A Federal Reserve survey finds the U.S. economy expanded modestly in June and early July, but growth and hiring slowed in several parts of the country.
The report says three of the Fed's 12 banking districts — New York, Philadelphia and Cleveland — reported weaker growth. A fourth — Richmond — said economic activity was mixed.
From mid-April through May, the Fed said growth picked up in 10 districts.
The survey also says hiring was "tepid" in most districts, retail sales slowed in Boston, Cleveland and New York and manufacturing weakened in most regions. All 12 districts reported gains in housing.
The "Beige Book" report largely echoed Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments to Congress this week and will form the basis of discussions by the Fed's July 31-Aug. 1 meeting.