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Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

Feb. 27, 2018 10 a.m.

Fifth District Service Sector Firms Reported Strong Growth in February

Overview

Fifth District service sector firms saw strong growth in February, according to the results from the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Most indicators increased, with the revenues index rising notably from 20 in January to 27 in February.

Most employment indicators held fairly steady from last month, although the index for the average work week decreased from 18 to 14, indicating continued, albeit softer growth. Service firms were mostly expecting conditions to continue improving in coming months, but they anticipate a drop in availability of skills.

Despite increases in all categories of expenditures, service sector firms saw a drop in the growth rate of prices paid in February, while growth of prices received continued to accelerate. Looking forward, firms expect to see faster growth in both prices paid and prices received in the coming months.

NOTE: Starting with the February 2018 data release, we will no longer be separating out the retail and non-retail service sector indexes and therefore will no longer report sector-specific variables. In addition, we will be reporting additional survey variables. Historical data files have been changed accordingly. For questions or access to past historical files, please contact the Regional Survey Team by email or call 804-697-8702.

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Regional Survey Team (804) 697-8702