(NBC) -- Critical numbers on the economy were released Wednesday, and although most of them were disappointing, it still wasn't enough to get the Federal Reserve to intervene.
The Fed admits the economy is losing strength, but held off on a third round of quantitative easing to stimulate it.
U.S. manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July.
Construction spending was up, but by less than half-a-percent and new car sales at Ford and General Motors were down compared to a year ago.
Still, both automakers say they are optimistic, as long as gas prices stay down and credit remains easy.
"We do see some positives there that we think will continue to lead to some slow gradual growth for the industry," said Kurt McNeil, General Motors Vice President of Sales.
Overall, car sales were up, with Chrysler, Volkswagen and Nissan leading the way with double-digit, year-over-year increases.
A private survey shows U.S. businesses kept hiring at a modest pace in July.
Government figures coming out Friday are expected to show unemployment hanging at over 8-percent,
which many analysts believe means the Fed can wait only one more month before stepping in again.