Service sector activity “continued to see growth in October, with a slight increase in the revenues index,” according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond service-sector activity survey, released Tuesday.

Overall, the service sector revenues index grew to 24 from 22, while the number of employees index slid to 17 from 20, the average wage index rose to 26 from 21, and the expected product demand during the next six months index increased to 49 from 45.

The indexes are the percentage of responding firms reporting increase, less the percentage reporting a decrease.

By sector, the retail area excluding services firms reported the sales revenues index rose to 32 from 26, the number of employees index gained to 24 from 20, while the average wages index slipped to 23 from 25. The inventories index climbed to 14 from 9, while the big-ticket sales index fell to 5 from 18. The shopper traffic index dipped to 23 from 24, while expected product demand during the next six months rose to 52 from 48.

For services firms excluding retail, the revenues index was 23 compared with 22 last month, while the number of employees index decreased to 16 from 20, and the average wage index increased to 26 from 20. The expected product demand during the next six months index grew to 49 from 44.

The current price trend for the two sectors together rose to 1.45 from 1.26, while soaring to 2.31 from 1.81 for retail alone and gaining to 1.46 from 1.24 for services, excluding retail.

The expected price trend index for the two sectors together increased to 1.69 in October from 1.30 in September, while falling to 2.33 from 2.77 for retail alone and growing to 1.69 from 1.34 from for services, excluding retail.

All firms surveyed are located within the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia.

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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.