Fed's Beige Book: Economy Continues to Weaken

The U.S. economy continued to grow in the final weeks of the fourth quarter but the pace
of activity slackened amid subdued holiday spending and a weak housing sector, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.

"Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve districts suggest that economic activity increased modestly during the survey period of mid-November through December, but at a slower pace compared with the previous survey period," the Fed said in the regular release of its Beige Book survey of economic conditions.

This survey, based on anecdotal reports from the 12 Fed districts, was prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and based on information collected before Jan. 7.

"Most reports on retail activity indicated subdued holiday spending and further weakness in auto sales. However, most reports on tourism spending were positive," the Beige Book said, adding that housing continued to be soft nationally.