Tlaib holds out for better deal on social spending, infrastructure bills

Fed survey finds weaker exports hurting manufacturers

Martin Crutsinger
Associated Press

Washington — The Federal Reserve says the economy was expanding in most of the country in January and February, helped by gains in consumer spending and home sales. But there were also rising headwinds from falling oil prices and a strong dollar that held back some sectors.

The Fed’s latest survey of business conditions in its 12 regions found moderate gains in most regions. Two areas — New York and Kansas City — described activity as flat. Kansas City, a region hurt by weakness in energy and farming, reported a modest decline.

The Fed survey, which will be discussed at the central bank’s next meeting in mid-March, says overall manufacturing activity was flat amid weaker exports.