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Maryland Survey of Business Activity

April 28, 2022

Maryland firms reported softening business conditions in April, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The general business conditions index continued its recent decline as it reached −8 in April, down from −3 in March and 10 in February. Survey participants were pessimistic about future business conditions, as the index edged down to −3 in April from 0 in March. On a positive note, the sales index rebounded from −14 in March to 8 in April. Firms expect sales to continue to increase in the next six months.

Firms continued to increase spending in April, as all three spending indexes were in expansionary territory. Firms expect to continue spending in the next six months as all three forward-looking indexes remained positive.

Hiring picked up in April as the employment index increased to 8 from −6 in March. Additionally, more firms reported increasing wages in April, and expect increases in wages to continue into the near future. Firms continued to report trouble finding workers with the right skills, as the index remained firmly in negative territory at −21, down from −17 in March.

Firms reported that year-over-year growth of prices paid in April was little changed from March, while the growth rate of prices received for outputs increased slightly. Survey participants expect the growth rates of both prices paid and prices received to moderate in the next 12 months.

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