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Maryland Survey of Business Activity

Nov. 29, 2018

Maryland Firms Reported Softening Conditions in November

Overview

Broadly, Maryland firms reported weakening conditions in November, according to the results of the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The indexes for both general business conditions and sales rose slightly but remained firmly in negative territory. However, respondents were optimistic, expecting to see growth in the next six months.

Survey results indicate that many firms reported a decline in employment in November. The employment index fell to −8, its first negative reading since January 2017. Employers struggled to hire workers with the necessary skills, as this index fell to a record low of −37. Respondents expected this struggle to continue in the coming months, even as wages were anticipated to rise.

Both prices paid and prices received by Maryland firms grew at an accelerated rate in November. Growth of prices paid continued to outpace growth of prices received. Survey respondents expected growth to continue but that the gap between the two rates would narrow in the next six months.

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702