NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Businesses are passing on surging costs to consumers. Hiring is modest. Wages are barely rising. The housing market is still struggling.
But the economy is expanding at a"modest to moderate pace", the Federal Reserve said.
That's the picture from the Fed's Beige Book report released Wednesday.
Retailers and manufacturers across all 12 of the Federal Reserve's districts said they're seeing higher input costs. That's no surprise given surging prices on everything from oil to food lately.
But while they told the Fed they're already passing on some of those costs to customers, homebuilders -- especially in the Cleveland and Atlanta districts -- are not, most likely due to the troubled housing market.
Both commercial and residential construction continues to be one of the slower segments of the economy, while manufacturers, retailers and financial firms reported slight growth.
Meanwhile, it's still tough to get credit, and in some regions, banks are actually tightening their standards.
The Fed reported little evidence of wages increasing in most of its districts.
The report echoes recent comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who acknowledges rising prices are impacting the average American, but not yet at a level that will derail the recovery.
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett released his 50th annual letter to shareholders. The Oracle of Omaha thinks the next 50 years will be great and knows who will replace him. More
Potential presidential candidate says that improvement in unemployment rate is due to millions of jobless not being counted. More
With the death of Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Star Trek's Spock, we remember his character's legacy: The technology we use every day. More
A social media frenzy about the color of a dress is bringing fame and fortune for one small British fashion company. More