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Carolinas Survey of Business Activity

March 29, 2018

Firms in the Carolinas Experienced Mixed Business Conditions in March

Overview

Firms in the Carolinas experienced mixed business conditions in March, according to results from the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. While the survey's sales index increased, the indicator for general business conditions dropped from 27 in February to 13 in March. However, business owners remained optimistic, expecting both sales and general conditions to improve in the coming months.

Survey results suggested that employment growth slowed in March, amid signs that skills shortages persisted. While firms indicated that they plan to hire more workers in the next six months, they also expect skills shortages to continue.

Indicators of expenditures remained positive in March but rose from February only for business services. Firms in the Carolinas reported an increase in growth of both prices paid and prices received. While input price increases continued to outpace output price growth, firms anticipated a narrowing of this gap in the coming months.

Charts

Index Table

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Regional Survey Team
(804) 697-8702