High Food, Energy Prices Put Strain on Economy, Housing

Washington, D.C.–Because energy and food expenses forced some companies to raise prices the economy has stayed “generally weak,” according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent tally of business conditions.Released Wednesday, the Fed’s report highlighted two major issues facing the U.S.–reduced economic activity and costly food and energy. Increased energy and food prices threaten to raise inflation and slow total economic growth, the New York Times said. As a result, “consumer spending slowed … as incomes were pinched by rising energy and food prices,” the Fed said. In addition, manufacturing activity was “generally soft” and the housing market continued to be stagnant.