Service sector activity "grew moderately" in February, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond service-sector activity survey, released Tuesday.

Overall, the service sector revenues index slid to 11 in February, from 13 in January, while the number of employees index increased to 3 from zero, the average wage index climbed to 14 from 7, and the expected product demand during the next six months index rose to 16 from 10.

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 jumped to positive 19 from negative 8 in January, the number of employees index climbed to negative 4 from negative 13, while the average wages index jumped to positive 16 from negative 1. The inventories index increased to 27 from 16, while the big-ticket sales index reversed to positive 27 from negative 32. The shopper traffic index climbed to 15 from 4, while expected product demand during the next six months slid to negative 9 from negative 6.

For services firms excluding retail, the revenues index was 8 compared to 20 last month, while the number of employees index held at 4, and the average wage index gained to 14 from 8. The expected product demand during the next six months index rose to 20 from 13.

The current price trend for the two sectors together dipped to 1.38 from 1.40, while slowing to 1.10 from 1.69 for retail alone and climbing to 1.41 from 1.29 for services, excluding retail.

The expected price trend index for the two sectors together rose to 1.80 in February from 1.75 in January, while decreasing to 1.52 from 1.56 for retail alone and jumping to 1.82 from 1.76 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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