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A pickup in manufacturing, “widespread” reports of labor shortages and improving business investment set the stage for the Federal Reserve’s December rate hike amid signs of steady economic growth across the country, the Fed reported Wednesday in its latest Beige Book compendium of economic conditions.

Manufacturers in “most” of the Federal Reserve System’s 12 regions reported increased sales, the Fed reported in the document, a collection of anecdotal information from businesses assembled before each Fed meeting.

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