U.S. Economy Growing At Steady Pace: Fed Beige Book

The U.S. economy grew at a steady pace in January and February with inflation muted, but high energy prices are a concern, the Federal Reserve said March 15 in its latest "Beige Book" survey.

In the periodic report on economic conditions, the U.S. central bank found little had changed from the "moderate" growth rate in place since the beginning of the year. "Most (Fed) districts characterized the pace of expansion as moderate or steady," it said.

Some businesses reported "ongoing input cost pressures, but prices at the retail level increased at only a moderate rate. Labor cost pressures were little changed," the report said.

But it added: "Elevated energy costs were mentioned frequently."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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