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Surveys of Business Conditions

May 25, 2023

Maryland firms reported soft business conditions in May, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The general business conditions index rose to −18 in May but remained well in negative territory. Meanwhile, the index for expected business conditions fell to −29 in May from −21 in April. Further, the current and expected sales indexes continued to indicate declining sales for most firms.

The index for spending on business services increased slightly from May but stayed in negative territory. The indexes for total capital expenditures and equipment & software expenditures fell notably into negative territory in May. The employment index increased slightly to −8, and firms reported an improved ability to find workers with the desired skills. Meanwhile, the wage index decreased notably, but remained solidly in positive territory in May.

On average, year-over-year growth in prices paid and prices received decreased somewhat in May. Firms continued to expect growth in prices to moderate over the next 12 months.

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