WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve said economic activity is progressing at a "modest to moderate pace" except in its Dallas district, where the recovery is more robust.
"Overall economic activity increased at a modest to moderate pace since the previous report," the Fed said in its Beige Book report released Wednesday.
The report, named for the color of its cover, is produced eight times annually and typically does not include much in the way of hard numbers, sticking with a narrative description of the economy across 12 Federal Reserve Districts.
Wednesday's report said consumer spending, including spending on automobiles, was making moderate gains in most districts. Tourism has grown stronger in several districts and construction was making headway, but without making a big splash.
Lending, a critical indicator of financial confidence, has increased since the last report but "credit standards were largely unchanged," the Fed said.
Retail sales improved and "auto sales held steady" in Dallas, the Fed's 11th District. The housing sector "continued to improve," prices remained "stable at most firms" and employment levels "were steady."
The report reflects announcements by Apple and Motorola that they will begin manufacturing in Texas.
Retail also showed some strength in the 11th District.
"According to one national retailer, Texas continued to outperform the nation. Outlooks for the upcoming quarter and the rest of the year are positive," the report said.