• Kyodo

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Supply disruptions triggered by the March 11 quake and tsunami hurt auto sales in some areas around the United States, a report by the Federal Reserve showed Wednesday.

“Widespread supply disruptions — (primarily) related to the disaster in Japan — were reported to have substantially reduced the flow of new automobiles into dealers’ inventories, which in turn held down sales in some districts,” the Fed said in the latest Beige Book.

The report also noted high-tech firms in the Boston and Dallas areas reported that the shortage of parts, due to disruptions in Japan, had adverse affects on business, while tech-related products in the San Francisco area were little affected.

As an overall assessment based on reports from the nation’s 12 districts, the Fed said, “Economic activity generally continued to expand,” while noting deceleration in a few areas.

Manufacturing activity continued to expand in most parts of the country, though a number of districts reported some slowing in the pace of growth, the report said.

Consumer spending was “mixed, with most districts indicating steady to modestly increasing activity,” the report said, adding soaring food and energy prices as well as unfavorable weather apparently weighed on consumers’ willingness to spend in some parts of the country.

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