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Carolinas Survey of Business Activity

December 23, 2020

An increased share of firms in the Carolinas reported declines in business in December, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The indexes for general business conditions and sales fell from 20 and 25, respectively, in November to −8 in December, their first negative readings since May. However, firms were optimistic that conditions would improve in the next six months.

Survey results indicated that employment and wages increased for many firms in December, but respondents reported continued difficulty finding workers with the necessary skills. They expected this issue to continue but employment to grow further in the near future.

The average growth rate of prices paid by survey respondents decreased slightly in December, while that of prices received increased, narrowing the gap between the two. Participants expected the gap to widen in the coming months.

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