WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy was expanding in January and February, but half the country was seeing fallout from the 35-day partial government shutdown. Some manufacturers expressed worries about weakening global demand for their products and adverse effects from President Donald Trump’s trade policies.

In its latest report on economic conditions around the country, the Fed said that 10 of its 12 regions reported “slight-to-moderate growth” over the past two months. Two – Philadelphia and St. Louis – reported that conditions were “flat.”

The Fed report, known as the beige book, will be used when central bank officials meet March 19-20 to consider what to do with interest rates. The expectation is that the central bank will remain “patient” and leave rates unchanged.


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