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Carolinas Survey of Business Activity

Aug. 24, 2017

Business Conditions in the Carolinas Softened Somewhat in August but Remained Positive

Overview

Reports from firms in North Carolina and South Carolina were less upbeat in August but remained positive, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Both the index for general business conditions and the index for sales/shipments declined from July to August after also decreasing from June to July. However, both measures also remained positive, with readings of 11 and 10, respectively.

Despite the decrease in the business conditions and sales indexes, the survey's labor market indicators were generally upbeat. The employment index rose from 16 in July to 22 in August. While the wages index declined, it maintained a relatively high reading of 17. Meanwhile, the availability of skills index rose above 0 to a level of 4. The capital expenditures and equipment/software spending measures were largely unchanged this month, but the business services spending metric fell from 17 in July to 10 in August.

Looking ahead six months, most indexes for expected conditions remained strong. The general business conditions and wages indexes did see notable softening in August, but remained solid at 40 and 23, respectively.

Charts

Index Table

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702