“Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and based on information collected on or before January 6, 2014. This document summarizes comments received from business and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials. Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from late November through the end of the year. Nine Districts indicated the local economy was expanding at a moderate pace; among these, the Atlanta and Chicago Districts saw conditions improve compared with the previous reporting period. Boston and Philadelphia cited modest growth, while Kansas City reported the economy held steady in December. The economic outlook is positive in most Districts, with some reports citing expectations of “more of the same” and some expecting a pickup in growth. Three-quarters of the Districts indicated that retail activity had increased since the last Beige Book report. The exceptions were St. Louis and Kansas City, where retail results were mixed, and the Richmond District, which cited a softening of retail sales. Richmond, Atlanta, and San Francisco noted strong auto sales. Districts mentioning nonfinancial services noted increased activity, except for Richmond, which cited “little change” in demand for non-retail services. All Districts reported year-over-year increases in manufacturing activity, although Kansas City noted slower growth in December.”
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