Beige Book points to slowing downturn

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a survey of economic conditions compiled by the 12 regional Feds, has provided further evidence that the rate at which the United States economy is shrinking is falling.

Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, and Barack Obama, the president, both spoke earlier this week of the declining pace of the economic contraction. And the latest Beige Book would appear to corroborate their comments.

The report noted that the five of the 12 districts - the second, fifth, sevent

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