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Fed survey: Economic growth picks up across most of the United States as harsh winter recedes

WASHINGTON - A Federal Reserve survey shows economic growth picking up across most of the United States over the past two months as bitter winter weather subsided.

Ten of the Fed's 12 regions reported an increase in economic activity, according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday. In most places, the Fed described the improvement as "modest or moderate." Only Cleveland and St. Louis reported slower growth.

In March and early April, consumers took advantage of better weather to go shopping. Manufacturing expanded across most of the country. Ports and highways were busier. Tourism was "generally positive."

The Beige Book is based on anecdotal reports from businesses and will be considered along with other data when Fed policymakers meet April 29-30. It is called the Beige Book because its cover is colored beige.

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