The US economic recovery slowed over the summer due to the resumption of covid-19 cases which, together with the spread of the Delta variant, according to the Federal Reserve, forced consumers to withdraw from traveling or dining out. Supply problems and labor shortages have slowed growth in certain sectors such as car or home sales, the Fed says. The report, known as the Beige Book, collects anecdotes from companies across the country. “The deceleration in economic activity was largely attributable to a decline in restaurant, travel and tourism activity in most districts, reflecting safety concerns due to the Delta variant,” the report explains. Employers continued to have difficulty finding workers, a circumstance that is holding back business activity. In response, companies raised wages and offered bonuses and flexible hours. In some parts of the country, companies have postponed plans to return to work in light of the new variant, the report said. Price increases continued to “be constant at a high pace” as companies grapple with supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. Some companies said they anticipate “significant increases in their sales prices in the coming months”. Last week, the Department of Labor reported that hiring slowed sharply in August as the rise in new covid cases dented the labor market recovery.