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Carolinas Survey of Business Activity

April 28, 2022

Firms in the Carolinas reported improving business conditions in April, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The general business conditions index continued its recent upward trend in April as it reached 7, up from −1 in March and −5 in February. Although firms reported improving business conditions, optimism about future business conditions declined, dropping from 11 in March to −4 in April.

The sales index increased from 20 in March to 29 in April, and expectations about future sales remained firmly in expansionary territory. Business spending also stayed positive as all three of the spending indexes remained firmly in expansionary territory.

Survey results suggested that many firms in the Carolinas increased employment and wages in April — the wage index continues to set records, as the index reached 51 in April after hitting record highs in both March and February. Firms expect wages to continue to increase in the near future, as the index stayed firmly in growth territory. Firms continued to report trouble finding workers with the necessary skills and expect these trends to persist into the near future.

The average year-over-year growth rates of prices paid and prices received were little changed from March to April. Firms expect growth rates for both prices paid and prices received to moderate in the next 12 months.

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