Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Federal Reserve: Economy growing, prices rising

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


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.

The Beige Book summarizes economic conditions in the central bank's 12 districts across the nation, and is released eight times a year. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,228.30 133.47 0.74%
Nasdaq 5,305.71 48.22 0.92%
S&P 500 2,159.93 13.83 0.64%
Treasuries 1.56 -0.03 -2.08%
Data as of 10:42pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Chesapeake Energy Co... 6.23 -0.39 -5.89%
Bank of America Corp... 15.29 0.20 1.33%
Procter & Gamble Co 88.36 0.51 0.58%
Ford Motor Co 11.98 -0.03 -0.25%
Micron Technology In... 18.00 0.64 3.69%
Data as of 4:15pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Wells Fargo executive Carrie Tolstedt could still walk away from the bank with $77 million in stocks and options, despite new efforts by the bank to curb her controversial pay. More

Despite attacks from Republicans including Donald Trump, the Federal Reserve is a big money maker for U.S. government. More

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk laid out his plan to put humans on Mars to eventually form a self-sustaining colony. More

Low interest rates have pushed some housing markets around the world into bubble-risk territory, according to a new report out of UBS. More