Moderate economic growth
WASHINGTON- The Federal reserve says the U.S. economy was growing at a moderate level in 10 of its 12 regions with Boston and Chicago lagging. The Fed's Beige Book survey says the growth is helped by strong auto sales, a recovery in housing and improved job prospects. Consumer spending increased in most regions spurred by auto sales but many districts said consumers held back on spending elsewhere because of higher taxes, rising gas prices and uncertainty over the federal budget. Manufacturing showed modest improvements in most regions and the housing markets showed more strength in almost every part of the country.