Fed survey finds faint signs of hope

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says there are some faint signs the steep plunge in economic activity that began last fall is starting to level off.

The Fed's latest survey of business conditions nationwide found five of its 12 regional banks reporting a moderation in the pace of the economic decline.

The Fed says several regions "saw signs that activity in some sectors was stabilizing at a low level ... (but) overall economic activity contracted further or remained weak."