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Carolinas Survey of Business Activity

April 27, 2017

Business Activity Among Firms in the Carolinas Improved in April

Overview

Firms in North Carolina and South Carolina remained upbeat in April. The general business conditions index improved notably — from 30 in March to 40 in April — as did the sales index, which increased from 18 to 44. In fact, the only current conditions index to show a decline was the employment index, which also remained strong with a reading of 19 in April. A higher share of firms in the Carolinas reported an increase in average workweek and an increase in wages. In addition, more firms reported spending increases, with the indexes for business services expenditures, capital expenditures, and spending on equipment or software all rising.

Looking ahead six months, most indexes for expected conditions remained strong. The largest changes were in the index for expected employment, average workweek, and wages.

Price growth changed little in April, according to firms in the Carolinas. Growth in prices paid for inputs did rise slightly from 1.34 in March to 1.67 in April. But growth in prices received for outputs grew only from 1.16 percent to 1.21 percent. Expected price growth variables also remained very similar to March levels.

Charts

Carolinas Business Activity
Expected Business Activity
Capital Expenditures on Computers/Software
Employment
Availability of Skills Needed
Wages
Price Trends

Index Table

Carolinas Business Activity Indexes

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702