Economic growth accelerated late this summer in about half the nation, but inflation remained subdued, the Federal Reserve Board said Wednesday just two weeks before its meeting to set interest rates.
A separate report showed construction of new homes unexpectedly fell in August to the lowest level this year, pulled down by a large drop in the Northeast and smaller declines elsewhere.
The Fed's survey of its 12 districts showed a continuation of the conditions--solid growth and quiet inflation--that have restrained policymakers from increasing interest rates since March. The survey was based on information collected before Sept. 8.
"Most regions are experiencing tight labor markets, recruiting difficulties or growing labor shortages," it said. But two-thirds said that is not translating into higher wages.