WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says the economy was expanding at a modest to moderate rate in late February and March. This growth occurred despite weakness in the energy sector, as well as a slowdown in exports of some manufactured goods and farm products because of global weakness and the strong dollar.
The Fed's latest survey of business conditions in its 12 districts found that consumer spending was rising modestly and wages were increasing in all districts except Atlanta. Fed officials are hoping to see a pickup in wages after a prolonged period of weak wage growth following the Great Recession.
The survey, known as the Beige Book, will be discussed at the Fed's next meeting on April 26-27. Economists expect the Fed to keep interest rates unchanged.