Fed reports modest growth

Published Mar 7, 2013 at 04:00AM

The economy grew modestly in much of the nation this year, helped by increasing auto sales and a strengthening housing market, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its periodic business survey.

Modest growth was reported in five of the central bank’s 12 districts, and five others reported moderate expansion in the Beige Book, an economic snapshot published eight times a year.

The Boston and Chicago districts reported slow growth for the period covering January and much of February, before the start of automatic federal budget cuts.