Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Economy Advances Continued in July, August

FILE - Federal Reserve building in Washington.
The U.S. central bank says the country's economy showed "modest to moderate" improvement in the last two months, with Americans buying more cars and housing-related products.

The Federal Reserve, in reports from its 12 regional banks, said Wednesday that consumer spending increased across most of the country from early July through late August. In the U.S., household spending is an important economic barometer, accounting for about 70 percent of the national economy.

The central bank said auto production advanced in nearly all parts of the entire country. Separately, three major automakers - General Motors, Toyota Motor and Ford Motor - all reported major sales gains in August; analysts said it may have been the industry's best month in six years.

The Fed's latest regional report showed the U.S. economy, the world's largest, is on a course similar to the advance that was recorded from late May to early July.

The Federal Reserve is weighing whether to curtail the $85 billion in monthly bond buying it has used to boost the U.S. economy's recovery from its steep recession in 2009. Some economic analysts say they expect Fed policy makers to approve trimming the asset purchases at their next meeting in two weeks.