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Carolinas Survey of Business Activity

March 2, 2023

Firms in the Carolinas reported improved, yet soft, business activity in February, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The general business conditions index rose from −14 in January to −5 in February. The corresponding expectations index also improved, rising from −11 in January to 2 in February.

The sales index also improved, increasing from −14 in January to −3 in February. Likewise, the index measuring expected sales improved somewhat to 17 in February. The indexes for spending showed little change in February after moderate declines in January.

Survey results suggest that more firms increased employment in February, as the employment index rose notably to 14 in February from 0 in January. The wages index decreased slightly but remained high. Firms generally expected wages to continue increasing over the near-term and reported little improvement in their ability to find workers with the desired skills.

The average year-over-year growth in prices paid decreased slightly in February, while the average year-over-year growth in prices received increased. Firms expected price growth to moderate over the next year.

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