Will the latest Beige Book put pressure on the Fed to act next month?

The U.S. economy continued to grow — albeit at a moderate or modest pace — across most regions of the country from early October through mid-November, according to data released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve.

The latest Beige Book report combined with other strong economic data could pressure Fed leaders to raise interest rates, which have been near zero since 2008, when they meet in two weeks. Some Fed leaders are growing increasingly impatient: Two bankers dissented at the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Nov. 1-2 because they wanted to raise the federal funds rate by 0.25 percent.

The Beige Book is based on economic, employment, wage and price reports from 12 Federal Reserve banks nationwide. The San Francisco district, which covers seven western states plus Alaska and Hawaii, reported moderate economic growth. Inflation remained at bay, with slight upward price pressure in most areas.

Here’s some key economic data for the nation and the San Francisco district:

Real estate and construction: U.S. residential real estate activity improved across most districts, including San Francisco, with more single-family construction and higher home prices. The real estate market was particularly strong in the Intermountain West. Commercial construction increased in seven districts, including San Francisco, but shortages of labor and materials dampened growth in some parts of the western district.

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Finish this sentence: The U.S. gig economy is growing faster than …

That might be a difficult task due to conflicting data.

Two government agencies plan new research to more accurately count the companies and workers in the so-called gig economy, which also has been labeled the on-demand economy, and better understand trends of that realm.

The “share of U.S. jobs without a formal employer-employee relationship is large and growing,” but some data shows the opposite, Jim Spletzer, an economist for the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies, wrote in a recent government blog post. Jobs in the so-called gig economy include freelance and contract workers.

Continue reading Finish this sentence: The U.S. gig economy is growing faster than …