Richmond Fed: Service sector grows in Nov., skilled worker shortage seen

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Service sector “grew slightly in November,” according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond service-sector activity survey, released Wednesday.

Overall, the current service sector revenues index reversed to positive 5 from negative 1, its first negative reading since November 2013, services expenditures plunged to 1 from 20, capital expenditures dropped to 14 from 21, while the number of employees index dropped to 6 from 13, the available skills narrowed to negative 18 from negative 32, the wages index gained to 38 from 37, and the demand index rose to 13 from 11.

The expected service sector revenues index decreased to 29 from 33, services expenditures dropped to 15 from 22, capital expenditures slid to 31 from 34, while the number of employees index gained to 28 from 26, the available skills narrowed to negative 25 from negative 35, the wages index dipped to 55 from 56, and the demand index dropped to 19 from 26.

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

The current prices paid trend fell to 3.38 from 4.07, growing to 2.68 from 2.64 for prices received.

The expected price paid trend decreased to 2.81 in November from 3.73 in October, while prices received slipped to 2.31 from 2.98.

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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Economic indicators Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond