Midwest growth still sluggish, Fed says

The Midwestern economy continued a pattern of slow growth in December and early January, the Federal Reserve Bank said today in its Beige Book report.

Businesses made few changes to their spending plans and consumer spending was mixed, the report said. Home construction continued to decline and nonresidential construction began to slow.

A modest expansion in manufacturing continued, business lending stayed strong and wage pressures softened.

The report is issued eight times a year based on interviews and other means of gathering information on economic trends. The area of the Midwest included in the Chicago district includes Iowa and most of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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