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Carolinas Survey of Business Activity

August 26, 2021

Firms in the Carolinas reported improved activity, overall, in August, according to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The general business conditions index and the sales index declined but remained positive — going from 28 and 26 in July to 4 and 19 in August, respectively — indicating continued growth. Firms also reported increased capital spending and were optimistic that conditions would improve in the coming months.

Survey results reflected growth in employment and wages among many firms in August, as the employment index hit a record high. Finding workers with the necessary skills remained a challenge. Survey participants expected this difficulty to persist, along with employment and wage growth in the near future.

The average growth rates of both prices paid and prices received by survey respondents rose in August. The growth rate of prices paid exceeded that of prices received, but survey participants expected the gap to narrow.

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