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Maryland Survey of Business Activity

May 24, 2018

Maryland Firms Reported Softening Business Conditions in May


Results from the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond suggest that business conditions softened in Maryland in May. The general business conditions indicator dropped from 14 in April to 0 in May, but some firms observed an uptick in sales, as the index rose from 0 to 5. While the corresponding expectations indexes decreased in May, they remained in positive territory.

Survey results suggest an increase in equipment expenditures among Maryland firms in May, after two months of declines, but less growth in spending on services. While firms continued to see gains in employment and wages, overall, an increasing share reported difficulty finding qualified workers, as the skills index dropped to −18, its lowest reading since May 2016. Firms expected skills shortages to persist in the next six months.

Prices paid grew at a faster rate in May, but firms anticipated that they will increase at a slower pace in coming months. Meanwhile, prices received increased at a steady pace, a trend that is expected to continue for several months.


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