The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that all but one of its 12 banking districts experienced some growth from late November through the end of the year.
The survey, known as the Beige Book, showed that the final weeks of 2011 were among the economy's strongest.
It is based on anecdotal information from the Fed's 12 regional banks. The report is based on information collected before Dec. 30.
Here are some highlights:
BOSTON (includes Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and part of Connecticut):
Most businesses reported modest revenue growth compared to a year earlier. Retailers were more positive than in previous months. Commercial and residential real estate markets remained weak. Tourism was strong, and business contacts predicted that hotel revenues would hit double-digit growth in 2012.
NEW YORK (includes New York and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey):
The economy has grown somewhat faster than expected, led by robust holiday-season spending, particularly in the final days right before Christmas and right after the holiday. Tourism has remained steady at a high level.
PHILADELPHIA (includes Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey):
Business activity and manufacturing have continued to grow modestly. Motor vehicle dealers have experienced further strong sales. But new-home construction slowed further.
CLEVELAND (includes Ohio, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia):
Growth was modest and manufacturing activity stable. Shale gas drilling and production increased. Hiring remained at low levels generally. Recruiting for highly-skilled workers was difficult.
RICHMOND (includes Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and part of West Virginia):
Economic activity generally flattened or improved slightly. Car dealers reported higher sales of used and new vehicles. Tourism bookings were up. Bank loan demand remained weak.
ATLANTA (includes Georgia, Alabama, Florida and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee):
Activity expanded at a modest pace with positive reports from most sectors. The pace of holiday sales was stronger than last year. Auto sales were the best in two years. Employment growth was positive but tepid.
CHICAGO (includes Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Illinois and Indiana):
Economic activity picked up in late November and December with business contacts generally optimistic about the outlook for 2012. There was concern about possible weakness in exports, particularly to Europe and China.
ST. LOUIS (Includes Missouri, Arkansas and Kentucky, and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi):
Activity grew at a modest pace. Manufacturing and service industries both showed gains. Residential construction continued to decline and commercial real estate activity remained sluggish.
MINNEAPOLIS (includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan):
The economy grew at a modest pace with solid growth reported in consumer spending and the energy and mining sectors. Construction activity was down from a year ago while a lack of snow dampened tourism.
KANSAS CITY (includes Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Missouri and New Mexico):
The economy expanded at a modest pace. But consumer spending softened with weakness in auto sales, restaurant spending and tourism. Manufacturing contracted slightly. High-tech firms reported strong growth.
DALLAS (includes Texas and parts of New Mexico and Louisiana):
The economy grew at a moderate pace, although manufacturing was mixed. Housing and commercial real estate continued to improve slightly, helped by strength in apartment construction.
SAN FRANCISCO (includes California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska):
Economic activity grew at a moderate pace with limited upward pressure on prices or wages. Production and sales of agricultural products remained robust. Energy providers saw increased demand.