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Maryland Survey of Business Activity

Dec. 27, 2018

Maryland Business Conditions Remained Sluggish in December

Overview

Business conditions in Maryland remained sluggish in December, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The indexes for both general business conditions and sales were both negative for the third month in a row. Firms reported some spending growth, but most firms did not expect overall business conditions to rebound in the near future.

Many survey respondents saw a fall in employment in December, as this index fell to −22, its lowest reading since July 2009. Most firms reported raising wages as they continued to struggle to find workers with the skills they needed. They expected this difficulty to persist in the next six months.

Survey results suggested that both prices paid and prices received by Maryland firms grew in December. Growth in prices paid remained higher than that of prices received, as the gap between the two widened from November. Survey respondents indicated that they expected price growth to continue in the coming months.

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702