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U.S. shoppers spent more freely in last weeks of 2011, latest Beige Book survey shows. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
U.S. shoppers spent more freely in last weeks of 2011, latest Beige Book survey shows. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

U.S. saw growth spurt at end of 2011: Fed Add to ...

The final weeks of 2011 were the U.S. economy’s strongest since last spring, before the European government debt crisis began to be a serious concern.

Americans spent more freely, U.S. factories made more goods, travel increased and the auto industry enjoyed its best stretch of the year.

That’s the bright picture the U.S. Federal Reserve sketches in a survey released Wednesday.

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