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Economic activity continued to improve in all twelve Federal Reserve Districts, although many Districts described the pace of growth as "modest," according to the latest Federal Reserve Beige Book. Consumer spending and tourism activity generally increased. Employment and capital spending edged up, but inventory investment slowed.
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Manufacturing and transportation activity continued to gradually improve across all twelve Districts, with most Districts reporting further increases in factory production, shipments, and new orders. Philadelphia and Chicago noted that the pace of gains had slowed in May.
Higher residential construction increased demand for construction equipment and materials in the Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts. Chicago also noted that demand from Asia and South America for heavy equipment continued to be robust.
Nonfinancial services and transportation also continued to gradually improve. Residential real estate activity in many Districts was buoyed by the April deadline for the homebuyer tax credit. Commercial real estate remained weak, although some Districts reported an increase in leasing. Financial activity was little changed on balance, although a few Districts noted a modest increase in lending.
Prices of final goods and services were largely stable as higher input costs were not being passed along to customers and wage pressures continued to be minimal.