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Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

July 27, 2021

Fifth District service sector activity expanded in July, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The indexes for revenues and demand declined from 29 and 41 in June to 19 and 26, respectively, in July but continued to reflect growth. Firms reported strengthening local business conditions and increased capital spending, and they were optimistic that growth would persist in the next six months.

Survey results suggested that many service sector firms increased employment, wages, and average hours worked in July. However, they struggled to find workers with the necessary skills. Survey participants expected this difficulty to remain and employment and wages to grow further in the coming months.

The average growth rates of both prices paid and prices received by survey respondents rose in July. Growth of prices paid outpaced that of prices received, but participants expected the gap between them to narrow in the near future.

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