US economy still sluggish, says Federal Reserve
The US Federal Reserve says the economy has failed to gain any ground in recent weeks, with many areas remaining weak.
The analysis comes in its latest Beige Book - an economic assessment provided by the 12 regional governors that make up the Fed's board.
The book recorded factory activity as unsteady, retail sales poor in most areas and the housing market flat.
The book comes a day before President Barack Obama is due to outline a new plan for boosting growth and jobs.
The report will be used by the Federal Reserve's Open Markets Committee when it next meets to look at interest rate levels.
Its next meeting begins on 20 September.
The Beige Book said that recent stock market volatility and rising economic uncertainty have undermined confidence.
It commented: "Economic activity continued to expand at a modest pace, though some districts noted mixed or weakening activity."
Five districts reported modest or slight growth between July and August, while the remaining seven described activity in terms such as "very subdued" or "more slowly".
A jobs report last Friday caused widespread disappointment, recording no new jobs in August for the first time since 1945, leaving the unemployment rate at 9.1%.