The Federal Reserve reports that the U.S. economy grew at a modest rate this fall, according to a survey of economic conditions around the country.
The survey, known as the “beige book,” found that seven of the 12 Fed districts described growth as modest to moderate. An additional three districts — Philadelphia, Cleveland and Kansas City — saw a “slight” pace of growth. Richmond viewed activity as mixed, and New York said activity had been flat.
The survey will be used when Fed officials meet Dec. 13 and 14. The central bank is expected to raise a key interest rate slightly in response to steady gains in employment and a modest pickup in inflation.
A majority of districts reported higher retail sales. These gains helped to offset a slowdown in sales of new autos.
Manufacturing demand was described as mixed, with some weakness attributed to lingering effects from the rise of the dollar.
Seven districts — Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis and Dallas — reported that the demand for workers was increasing.
— Associated Press
U.S. consumers boosted their spending again in October, while incomes increased at the fastest clip in six months. A key gauge of inflation watched by the Federal Reserve posted the fastest 12-month gain in two years.
Consumer spending increased 0.3 percent in October after a revised 0.7 percent jump in September, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Incomes increased 0.6 percent, the best showing since April.
An inflation gauge closely followed by the Fed increased 1.4 percent, compared with a year ago. With incomes rising, the saving rate jumped to 6 percent in October, from 5.7 percent in September.
The rise in spending reflected a 1 percent increase in purchases of durable goods such as autos and a 1.4 percent rise in spending on nondurable goods.
— Associated Press
● Levi Strauss & Co., that sartorial emblem of America’s mythologized West with its gun-toting cowboys, would like you to keep your firearms out of its stores. Even in states where it’s legal, the company’s leader said Wednesday. Levi chief executive Chip Bergh expressed concerns over maintaining a safe environment at its stores in a note published on the LinkedIn networking site.
● Nintendo’s newest Pokémon games set company records for sales in the Americas, the company said Wednesday. In less than two weeks, “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon” sold a combined total of 3.7 million units for the Nintendo 3DS game systems, according to a company statement. That makes the titles the company’s fastest-selling yet and represents an 85 percent increase over the previous record, set in 2013, also by Pokémon titles.
● Fiat Chrysler said its new gas-electric hybrid minivan will get the equivalent of 84 miles per gallon in electric mode and 32 mpg in city-highway mileage when in hybrid mode. The redesigned Chrysler Pacifica minivan went on sale this year, and the hybrid version is due out this month. The company said the numbers have been confirmed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The minivan can go 33 miles on battery power. After that, it switches to hybrid mode. It costs $41,995 before a $7,500 federal income tax credit.
● GoPro, struggling to get traction with its action-cameras and new drone, said it will cut about 15 percent of its workforce and close its entertainment division. GoPro, which isn’t profitable, will cut more than 200 full-time positions, a company statement said Wednesday. GoPro also said its president, Tony Bates, will step down by the end of the year.
● U.S. companies added 216,000 jobs in November, the most since June. Payroll provider ADP said that nearly all the gains occurred in service sectors such as retail, hotels and restaurants, as well as higher-paying professional services. Construction firms added 2,000 jobs, while manufacturing shed 10,000. The ADP data cover only private businesses and often diverge from official figures. Economists forecast that the government’s jobs report, to be released Friday, will show a gain of 174,000 jobs, according to data provider FactSet.
— From news services
● 10 a.m.: Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for November.
● 10 a.m.: Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.
● 10 a.m.: Commerce Department releases construction spending for October.