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Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

December 24, 2019

The Fifth District service sector remained strong in December, according to the results of the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The indexes for both revenues and demand rose to 17 in December, from their November readings of 15 and 13, respectively. Firms also saw improving local business conditions and increased spending. They were optimistic that conditions would continue to improve in the next six months.

Survey results suggested growth in both employment and wages in December, but finding workers with the necessary skills continued to be a challenge. Firms expected this challenge to continue and wages and employment to continue to grow in the near future.

The average growth rate of both prices paid and prices received by service sector firms rose in December. Growth of prices paid continued to outpace that of prices received, but respondents expected the gap to close in the coming months.

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702