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Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

June 23, 2020

Fifth District service sector activity remained soft in June, according to the most recent survey by the Richmond Fed. The indexes for both revenues and demand were above their May readings, but still indicated contraction at −28 and −16, respectively. Firms also reported continued deterioration in local business conditions and decreased spending in June, but they were optimistic that conditions would improve in the coming months.

Several survey participants reported decreased employment in June, but survey results suggested slight increases in wages and the ability of firms to find the workers with the necessary skills. Respondents expected employment and wages to increase and more workers with the necessary skills to be available in the next six months.

The average growth rates of both prices paid and prices received by service sector participants rose notably in June, as growth of prices paid continued to outpace that of prices received. However, firms expected the gap between the two measures of price growth to narrow in the near future.

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