Fed: Rate of price increases slowing

The US Federal Reserve says the pace of price increases is slowing across the country. Its latest Beige Book survey found that retailers are finding it harder to pass on surges in costs to consumers.

The Fed divides the country into 12 districts. The Beige Book is based on interviews with businesses in each of those areas.

The latest report says the slowing rate of price increases suggests consumers are getting more sensitive to recent changes. It also says retailers offered more holiday discounts than they did a year ago to clear out excess inventory.

Fed officials say overall economic activity has remained stable since their previous report at the end of November. Five districts reported slight or modest increases, while six noted no change or slight declines. Only one cited a significant decline.

The officials say they expect little growth in the months ahead. They will consider policy changes based on the report at an upcoming two-day meeting starting on January 31.