Carolinas Survey of Business Activity

Sept. 28, 2017

Firms in North Carolina and South Carolina Report Improved Business Conditions in September

Overview

Reports from firms in North Carolina and South Carolina improved in September after softening in August, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Particularly notable were increases in the general business conditions index and the sales index, which rose from 11 to 20 and 10 to 23, respectively.

Labor market activity was a little more mixed in September, as a smaller share of firms reported employment growth, but measures of both the average work week and wages were up.  On the other hand, spending indexes were down for business services, capital, and equipment/software. In addition, price growth moderated slightly for both inputs and outputs.

Most of the indexes for firm expectations over the next six months softened somewhat in September, with the exception of the index for expected wages, which jumped from 23 to 41, and the expected average workweek index, which inched up from 9 to 10. Firms in the Carolinas also expected higher growth in both input and output prices in the coming months.

Charts

Index Table

Survey Participation, Report, and Data Questions

Jeannette Plamp
Associate Regional Economist
(804) 697-8152