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Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

March 23, 2021

The Fifth District service sector showed signs of strengthening in March, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The indexes for revenues and demand rose from −6 and 18 in February to 16 and 25, respectively, in March. Firms also reported improved business conditions and increased capital spending. Survey respondents were optimistic that conditions would continue to improve in the next six months.

Many survey participants reported growth in employment and wages in March but continued to struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. They expected this difficulty to persist in the coming months.

The average growth rates of both prices paid and prices received by survey respondents increased in March. Growth of prices paid outpaced that of prices received — a trend participants expected to continue in the near future.

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