WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that its latest survey showed the U.S. economy " expanded modestly" in recent months.
Consumer spending was generally reported to be flat or have strengthened slightly since the last report in August. A number of districts characterized retail sales as expanding at a modest pace, while reports from New York, Chicago and Kansas City indicated flat or softening sales, the Fed noted in its survey report, also known as the Beige Book.
Personal consumption accounts for about 70 percent of the overall U.S. economic activity, thus being the main engine of the nation's economic growth.
"Conditions in the manufacturing sector were mixed but, on balance, somewhat improved since the last report," the central bank said.
U.S. residential real estate conditions improved since the last report, but commercial real estate markets were mixed across the nation in recent months, it added.
Overall loan demand was steady or stronger in most areas, and activity in the energy sector remained robust, said the Fed.
Most regions described tourism as fairly robust, though Kansas City noted some softening, and New York and Dallas indicated some signs of weakening, according to the Fed report.
The Beige Book was based on economic information supplied by the Fed's 12 regional banks and collected during the reporting period from late August through the end of September. It was released eight times a year to provide a snapshot of the local economy.
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the April-June quarter, according to figures from the Commerce Department. Few economists expect a significant improvement for the rest of the year.