WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: A view of the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve building on July 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. Officials with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are holding a two-day meeting as the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates again this week to combat inflation. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is caught in an awkward, painful place. A confusing one, too. Growth appears to be sputtering, home sales are tumbling and economists warn of a potential recession ahead. But consumers keep spending, businesses keep posting profits and the economy keeps adding hundreds of thousands of jobs each month. In the midst of it all, prices have accelerated to four-decade highs, and the Federal Reserve is desperately trying to douse the inflationary flames with higher interest rates. That’s making borrowing more expensive for households and businesses. The Fed hopes to pull off the triple axel of central banking: Slow the economy just enough to curb inflation without causing a recession.