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Beige Book: Economy Growing ‘Gradually’

Associated Press (08/29/12)

The U.S. economy expanded gradually in July and early August, as the jobs market only grew slightly, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced in its latest “beige book” report. The economy expanded at a modest-to-moderate pace in more than half of the central bank’s 12 districts, but some saw slower or mixed growth. Most districts indicated that employment was “holding steady or growing only slightly,” according to the report, with some companies preparing for upcoming layoffs.

The Fed report will inform discussions when central bank policymakers next meet Sept. 12-13. Financial markets are hoping the central bank will provide more support to boost a sub-par economic recovery. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke could signal future moves in an Aug. 31 speech.