Uncertainty over government fiscal issues affected businesses around the U.S., the Federal Reserve reported in its Beige Book. The outlook for future auto sales around the country and the prospects for future retail sales in several cities were dragged down by concerns about these issues, the Fed reported. Hiring in several cities, especially in the defense sector, was also delayed as a result of fiscal uncertainty, the central bank stated. Despite these negative factors, the economy overall expanded since the previous Beige Book report, the Fed reported. Consumer spending, the non-finance services sector, and tourism expanded, while auto sales and real estate were steady or stronger in most of the country. Prices and employment conditions were little changed.
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