NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. has seen widespread consumer spending rise in most regions with retailers optimistic for the holiday season, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book released Wednesday afternoon.
"Consumer spending continued to trend higher in most Districts in October and November," the Fed said. "Some contacts viewed lower gasoline prices as a contributing factor to higher consumer spending, and an early cold spell helped spur sales of winter apparel in several Districts."
The survey, released monthly, provides anecdotal insight into the 12 regional banks which compose the central body. The Fed will meet to discuss monetary policy at its monthly meeting on Dec. 16-17.
Overall wage and price growth remains "subdued," the Beige Book said. Earlier, President Barack Obama committed to working with CEOs to address "tricky questions" on wage growth. Addressing a Business Roundtable in Washington, Obama said while he was confident in the overall economy he was concerned the record highs achieved in corporate profits were not trickling down to every American.
Hourly compensation growth was given a 1% haircut in November, while unit labor costs slipped 1% rather than increasing an estimated 0.3%, according to the Labor Department Wednesday. Nonfarm productivity rose 2.3% during the third quarter, up from a previous 2% pace.
The release comes at a time when stock markets are grinding slowly higher ahead of the European Central Bank's meeting Thursday. Economists hope ECB President Mario Draghi and colleagues will decide to purchase government bonds in its next round of stimulus measures after it began to buy asset-backed securities late November.