Prices received increased in March, to a level not seen in six years, while wage growth was steady, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's March Business Leaders Survey, released Friday.

“The prices received index inched up to 21.5, again reaching its highest level in more than six years,” according to the survey.

Service sector activity "expanded modestly," the release noted. “The business climate index fell thirteen points to 7.7, signaling that firms, on balance, regarded the business climate as better than normal, though to a lesser extent than last month,” the report noted.

The business activity index slipped to 11.2 in March from 15.9 in February, the business climate index fell to 7.7, the number of employees index increased to 17.9 from 15.5, the wages index gained to 43.1 from 41.7, the prices paid index fell to 49.1 from 56.1, the prices received index climbed to 21.5 from 20.5, and the capital spending index dropped to 17.2 from 21.5..

The future business activity index fell to 43.8 in March from 50.0 in February, the business climate index declined to 28.6 from 38.6, the number of employees index decreased to 29.1 from 34.4, the wages index slid to 49.7 from 53.0, the prices paid index fell to 55.8 from 57.0, the prices received index declined to 25.0 from 37.5, and the capital spending index dropped to 25.0 from 30.1.

Respondents to the Business Leaders Survey, which the Fed calls “a close cousin of our Empire State Manufacturing Survey,” come from New York, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.