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Fed finds housing, banking conditions improved *DX *PIC*

Fed finds housing, banking conditions improved (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Home real estate markets and banking conditions are improving across most of the nation, according to the Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book reading of economic conditions released Wednesday. Overall, the report found a modest, moderate expansion underway, with only New York the only one of the dozen Fed districts to report slower activity through mid-February. Most economic conditions are similar to past reports. Manufacturing and nonfinancial services are expanding and reports of consumer spending were positive. Prices remained stable and there was no wage pressure, the report said.