(WASHINGTON) -- With a government default looming as lawmakers struggle to strike a deal to lift the nation's $14.3 trillion limit, Americans faced even more negative news about the economy on Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve said in its latest "beige book" report on the financial state of the central bank's 12 districts that two-thirds of these areas experienced slower economic recovery during June and the early part of July.
This follows a pattern since the start of the year when things began looking up due to increased holiday sales in December and companies starting to hire. However, higher fuel costs, the natural disasters in Japan and unease throughout Europe and the Middle East grounded the modest recovery to a halt.
And yet, there was actually some good news in most of the regional districts watched by the Fed.
According to the "beige book," inflation pressure has eased throughout most of the U.S. and a drop in gasoline prices has meant that consumers are spending more in stores.
There was also a slight growth in hiring although the housing market, which triggered the recession in November 2007, remains weak.
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