Fed survey finds US economy expanding despite trade fallout

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy was expanding at a modest pace in October and early November, supported by growing consumer spending.

In its latest assessment of business conditions nationwide, the Fed struck a more upbeat tone than it had in its previous report when it had worried more about trade tensions and slower global growth.

However, it still noted that the majority of the Fed’s 12 districts were not experiencing growth in manufacturing, which has been hurt by a widening trade war with China.

The Fed report, known as the beige book, will be used when Fed officials meet in mid-December to set interest rate policies. The wide expectation is that the central bank will leave its benchmark rate unchanged after cutting it at its three previous meetings.

Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press