SINCE THE JUNE MEETING OF the Federal Open Market Committee, a committee of the Federal Reserve System, economic indicators have shown growth to be slower than expected. Inflation also picked up the first half of the year, reflecting increased prices for commodities and imported goods, although energy prices and some commodities have declined in price in recent months.
Those indicators are at odds with reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts, which suggest a moderate expansion of economic activity from early April to late May. The report, known as the Beige Book, shows moderate growth in seven districts, with modest growth reported in three more. Steady growth was reported in the Boston district, while the Philadelphia district is the only one to report a slowing economic growth.