WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy was expanding in all regions of the country in the late spring, aided by strong sales of autos and other consumer goods.
In its latest survey of business conditions, the Federal Reserve says some of its regions reported that lower energy prices were encouraging consumers to shop and eat out more. The economy was also boosted by growing sales of homes and commercial real estate.
Employment growth was solid, although some layoffs were reported in manufacturing and energy industries, which have cut back because of falling prices.
The Fed report, known as the beige book, will be used by officials when they meet July 28-29 to consider interest rate policies. The Fed is not expected to start raising rates until at least September.