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Maryland Survey of Business Activity

September 24, 2020

Firms in Maryland reported improved business activity in September, according to the latest survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The indexes for general business conditions and sales rose from −10 in August to 7 and 5, respectively, in September. This was the first positive reading for the sales index since March. Meanwhile, capital spending was fairly flat, but contacts were optimistic that conditions would improve in the near future.

Most surveyed firms reported stable employment in September, and the same number of firms increased as decreased employment over the month. The index for wages was also fairly flat, but firms reported some difficulty finding workers with the necessary skills. Survey respondents expected employment and wages to increase in the next six months.

The average growth rate of prices paid by contacts in Maryland fell, while that of prices received rose, narrowing the gap between the two. Firms expected the growth rates of both prices paid and prices received to increase in the coming months.

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