Economic growth slowed to a moderate pace in early July through August, according to the latest edition of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book that was released Wednesday. The central bank noted that safety concerns tied to the delta variant of COVID-19 prompted a pullback in dining out and travel, which weigh on the greater economy. Supply shortages, including limited inventories of automobiles and homes for sales, also contributed to the economy's retreat from its stronger pace of growth earlier this year. At the same time, businesses reported to the Fed that they were finding it easier to pass cost increases along to consumers via higher prices. The central bank noted that inflation was "steady at an elevated pace."