The economy is continuing to grow, though sluggishly, but the construction sector appears to be weakening, according to a new Fed survey. ''The tone of district reports suggests continued slow growth in the economy with little change in the underlying inflation rate,'' said a summary of the survey of the 12 Fed district banks.

US West and Bell Atlantic agreed to form a joint venture with the Czechoslovak government to build a public data network in Czecho- slovakia. The agreement would give the two regional Bells a 49 percent stake in the $45 million venture.

Travelers Corp. said it is pulling out of the automobile and homeowners insurance markets in nine more states to focus resources on markets where there is greater potential for profitability. The states are South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia, Nevada, Idaho, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Pathe Communications's planned buyout of MGM-United Artists may fall apart because a major backer said Pathe can't rely on borrowed funds and must come up with millions in equity. Time Warner Inc. is insisting that Pathe must arrange $600 million in equity, $450 million of that itself, toward the $1.2 billion bid for MGM-UA, following guidelines of an April financing agreement.