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Maryland Survey of Business Activity

February 25, 2021

Maryland firms gave mixed reports in February, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The index for general business conditions rose from −20 in January to 4 in February, suggesting improvement, but the sales index only inched up from −24 in January to −22 in February, suggesting that sales continued to decline for many firms. Survey participants in Maryland were optimistic that both business conditions and sales would improve in the coming months.

Many survey respondents reported increases in employment and wages in February and expected this growth to persist. However, firms struggled to find workers with the necessary skills.

The average growth rate of prices paid by survey participants declined in February, while that of prices received increased, narrowing the gap between the two rates. Business contacts expected growth rates of both prices paid and prices received to rise in the next six months.

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