WASHINGTON, April 16 U.S. economic activity
picked up in recent weeks as a weather-related drag lifted, the
Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.
In its Beige Book report of anecdotal information on
business activity collected from contacts nationwide, the U.S.
central bank said eight of its 12 districts characterized growth
as "modest to moderate."
Chicago reported that growth had picked up, while New York
and Philadelphia said activity had rebounded from slowdowns
related to severe weather earlier in the year.
"Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts suggest
economic activity increased in most regions of the country since
the previous report," the Fed said.
The report, compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
from data collected before April 7, is broadly in line with data
ranging from retail sales to industrial production that have
suggested growing momentum in the economy in step with warmer
The economy stumbled early in the year as snow storms and
bitter cold disrupted activity.
The Beige Book found that consumer spending had increased in
recent weeks in most districts. Auto sales were up in seven
districts, while manufacturing improved in most districts.
"Several districts reported that the impact of winter
weather was less severe than earlier this year," the Fed said.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)