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Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

January 26, 2021

Fifth District service sector firms gave mixed reports in January, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The indexes for revenues and demand increased from −9 and −6 in December to −3 and 7 in January, respectively, indicating higher demand for some firms. However, the index for local business conditions remained in contractionary territory. Firms were optimistic that conditions would improve in the next six months.

Survey results reflected increased employment and wages for many service sector firms in January, but finding workers with the necessary skills remained a challenge for some firms. Participants expected these trends to continue in the coming months.

The average growth rate of prices paid by survey participants fell in January, while that of prices received increased, narrowing the gap between the two rates. Respondents expected growth of both prices paid and prices received to rise in the near future.

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