The U.S. economy grew overall during June through mid-July but some regions reported slowing activity, and there were scattered reports of rising prices, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.
The Fed districts of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco reported declines in rates of growth, the Fed said in its Beige Book summary of economic conditions.
At the same time, increases in wages and in prices of final goods and services remained modest in spite of pressures from higher prices for energy and other inputs, the U.S. central bank said.
Scattered reports from various Districts indicated an increase in manufacturers' and retailers' ability to pass such cost increases on to final prices. More generally, however, districts reported vigorous competition held price increases down, and some contacts noted reliance on productivity increases to maintain profit margins in the face of rising input costs, the Fed said.
The dollar fell after the report was published. In the interest rate futures market, the betting that the Fed would continue its campaign of rate increases at its August 8 meeting dipped to 43 percent.
Labor markets were tight in general and tightened in some areas, the Beige Book said.
Wage increases remained relatively rapid for skilled workers in may areas, including managerial and professional employees and those with specialized occupational skills in a variety of industries, the Fed said.
Housing markets cooled in most parts of the country, but demand for commercial space picked up, the Fed said.
The Beige Book was prepared by the San Francisco Fed with data collected on or before July 17.