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8. Fed: US economy continues to expand

The latest US Federal Reserve report says the US economy continues to expand. The report is based on surveys of businesses in the Fed's 12 districts.

It says business people in some of the districts expect workers will be taking home higher pay in the months ahead.

Officials at the Fed on Wednesday released their latest "Beige Book."

All but one district reported modest to moderate gains in the economy. The other stated a robust increase.

Some retailers reported higher-than-expected holiday sales.

Views were mixed over the recently passed tax reform package, which includes a corporate-tax cut.

Some firms indicated the legislation would help their businesses. But some did not think the package would have a big effect on investment.

Fed policymakers are anticipating three interest-rate hikes this year.

But many market players think the policymakers will forgo a rate-rise in their meeting later this month, in order to monitor price movements. They are predicting the next hike will happen in March.
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