WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy expanded across most of the country in December and early January.
In its latest snapshot of the economy, the Fed says nine of its 12 regional banks reported modest or moderate growth in the latest period.
The New York and Kansas City Fed banks reported that economic activity was "essentially flat."
Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy, was "slight to moderate" in most districts.
Most manufacturing industries -- except for automakers and aircraft manufacturers -- "displayed a weakening in activity." Factories have been hurt by a stronger dollar, which makes American-made products more expensive in foreign markets.
The Fed will use this report, known as the Beige Book, for discussion when the central bank's monetary policy committee next meets on Jan. 26-27.