Fed Beige Book: US economy expands modestly, buoyed by consumer spending, homebuilding

The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy grew at a modest pace this fall, lifted by higher consumer spending and more home sales and construction.

The Fed says in its latest snapshot of the economy that nine of its 12 regional banks reported growth was modest or moderate from early October through mid-November. The New York Fed said growth leveled off, while it slowed in Boston and was mixed in Kansas City.

The Fed's report suggests that healthy consumer spending is offsetting overseas headwinds that have weighed on U.S. manufacturers.

The report, known as the Beige Book, will be used for discussion when the central bank next meets Dec. 15-16. Fed officials at that meeting are widely expected to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years.