The US economy plodded on with \"modest\" growth in September the Federal Reserve reported on Wednesday, describing restrained hiring and a still-weak housing market. \"Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve districts indicate that overall economic activity continued to expand in September, although many districts described the pace of growth as \'modest\' or \'slight,\'\" the Fed said in its latest Beige book. \"Many districts noted restraint in hiring and capital spending plans,\" while \"contacts generally noted weaker or less certain outlooks for business conditions.\" \"Respondents indicated that labor market conditions were little changed, on balance, in September. \"All 12 districts reported that real estate and construction activity was little changed on balance from the prior report. Residential construction remained at low levels, particularly for single-family homes.\" But in one glimmer of hope, the Fed received reports that suggested \"consumer spending was up slightly in most districts.\"