Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

May 23, 2017 10 a.m.

Service Sector Firms Indicated Another Month of Improvement in May

Overview

Activity in the service sector improved further in May, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. More firms continued to report revenue increases than decreases, with the revenues index for the overall service sector hitting 34 — its highest mark since 1997. This was driven by an increase in the share of both retail and non-retail services firms reporting revenue growth.

Although the revenues index rose notably, the index for employment in the overall service sector remained relatively flat. Meanwhile, the average wage index fell, although it remained solidly in positive territory, with a reading of 24 in May. The index for expected demand during the next six months also fell, but remained high at a level of 40.

Price growth in the overall service sector changed little from April while the expectation for price growth during the next six months picked up very slightly, from 1.67 percent to 1.88 percent.

Charts

Index Table

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