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

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

Overall, the current service sector revenues index gained to 10 from 5, services expenditures rose to 13 from 1, capital expenditures jumped to 28 from 14, while the number of employees index dropped to 3 from 6, the available skills held at negative 18, the wages index dipped to 34 from 38, and the demand index rose to 20 from 13.

The expected service sector revenues index increased to 37 from 29, services expenditures climbed to 21 from 15, capital expenditures fell to 25 from 31, while the number of employees index slid to 26 from 28, the available skills narrowed to negative 22 from negative 25, the wages index dipped to 52 from 55, and the demand index increased to 29 from 19.

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

The current prices paid trend fell to 3.03 from 3.38, dropping to 2.51 from 2.68 for prices received.

The expected price paid trend increased to 2.88 in December from 2.81 in November, while prices received slipped to 2.01 from 2.31.

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