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Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity

January 23, 2024

Fifth District service sector activity was relatively unchanged in January, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The revenues index increased slightly from 0 to 4, while the demand index edged up from 2 in December to 5 in January. While changes in the expectations indexes for future revenues and demand were mixed, both indexes remained in positive territory.

Firms' optimism about local business conditions was little changed, as that index edged down from 0 in December to −3 in January. The index for expected local business conditions also decreased, from 4 in December to −3 in January.

The employment index edged down from 5 in December to 3 in January, while firms continued to report wage increases and little change in their ability to find workers with the necessary skills. Over the next six months, many firms expected to continue hiring and anticipated little improvement in their ability to find workers with the necessary skills. Most firms plan to continue wage increases.

The average growth in prices paid and prices received increased somewhat in January. Firms expect both growth rates to moderate over the coming year.

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