Service sector activity saw “continued growth in December,” with gains in revenues and demand, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond service-sector activity survey, released Tuesday.

Overall, the service sector revenues index slid to 25 from 30, while the number of employees index fell to 13 from 22, the average wage index slipped to 25 from 28, and the expected product demand during the next six months index declined to 39 from 49.

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 fell to 18 from 26, the number of employees index gained to 31 from 30, while the average wages index slumped to 34 from 39. The inventories index climbed to 44 from 28, while the big-ticket sales index gained to 24 from 21. The shopper traffic index climbed to 6 from 4, while expected product demand during the next six months plunged to 39 from 67.

For services firms excluding retail, the revenues index was 24 compared with 31 last month, while the number of employees index decreased to 11 from 20, and the average wage index slid to 24 from 26. The expected product demand during the next six months index fell to 40 from 46.

The current price trend for the two sectors together dipped to 1.43 from 1.54, while declining to negative 0.07 from 1.65 for retail alone and falling to 1.34 from 1.52 for services, excluding retail.

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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.