The monthly Survey of Service Sector Activity is available electronically and by mail to retailers, wholesalers, and other non-retail services firms. These companies are selected for participation according to their type of business, location, and firm size. About 200 contacts receive questionnaires and approximately 90 to 95 of those surveyed respond in a typical month.
Retailers provide information on sales revenues, big-ticket sales, inventories, and shopper traffic. Respondents at services firms also report on their revenues. In addition, both sets of respondents provide information on employment and wages, prices, and expectations for customer demand during the next six months.
Respondents indicate whether measures of activity rose, were unchanged, or decreased since the last survey. The responses are converted into diffusion indexes by subtracting the percentage of reported decreases from the percentage of increases.
The summary results of each survey are provided to the public on the fourth Tuesday of the month.
Senior Economic Analyst