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Maryland Survey of Business Activity

March 29, 2018

Firms in Maryland Reported Weakening Business Conditions in March

Overview

Firms in Maryland reported weakening business conditions in March, according to results from the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The general business conditions indicator fell sharply from 17 in February to −9 in March, its first negative reading since August 2016. Survey results also suggested softer sales growth, but firms were optimistic that both sales and overall business conditions would improve in the next six months.

Maryland firms continued to see employment growth but struggled to find necessary skills in March. Expenditure growth slowed across all categories, with the index for equipment and software spending dropping into negative territory for the first time since September 2010.

Maryland firms observed higher growth in prices paid in March. They also reported raising prices of outputs at a faster pace and expected price growth to continue in the coming months.

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702