Five of the 10 leading indicators in the report were down. Unemployment claims, stock prices, and factory orders were the most impactful.
The report shows the economy is still weak as it faces strong domestic and international hurdles.
The Beige Book report last month noted that seven of the 12 Federal Reserve districts reported weakness either in slowness or outright contraction in manufacturing.
The economic climate for 2013 will be determined by how lawmakers handle the fiscal cliff and deficit reduction talks. The markets need to see a plan for reducing the debt long-term.
Such an agreement would remove a developing impediment to growth. Whatever happens with the deficit discussions will determine the forecasts for 2013.

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