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Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

May 29, 2024

Fifth District service sector activity was mixed in May, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The revenues index increased from −13 to 3, while the demand index fell from 9 in April to 1 in May. The index for future revenues increased from 24 to 32, while the index for future demand decreased but remained in positive territory.

Firms' optimism about local business conditions was nearly unchanged, as that index edged down from −6 in April to −9 in May. The index for expected local business conditions also decreased, from 9 to 2 in May.

The employment index increased from 1 in April to 6 in May, while firms continued to report wage increases. The availability of skills index rose from −4 to 6 in May, suggesting some improvement in firms' ability to find workers with the necessary skills. Over the next six months, firms expect to increase hiring and anticipate little improvement in their ability to find workers with the necessary skills. Most firms plan to continue increasing wages.

The average growth in prices paid decreased slightly in May, while growth in prices received increased slightly. Firms expect both growth rates to moderate over the coming year.

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