Service sector activity weakened in July, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond service-sector activity survey, released Tuesday.

Overall, the service sector revenues index reversed to negative 11 in July, from positive 11 in June, while the number of employees index slumped to negative 3 from positive 6, the average wage index declined to 8 from 16, and the expected product demand during the next six months index fell to 4 from 18.

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 plunged to negative 18 in July from positive 3 in June, the number of employees index dropped to negative 15 from negative 5, while the average wages index decreased to 4 from 13. The inventories index dropped to negative 6 from positive 7, while the big-ticket sales index rose to 21 from 9. The shopper traffic index dipped to negative 6 from negative 4, while expected product demand during the next six months remained negative 3.

For services firms excluding retail, the revenues index was negative 11 compared to positive 11 last month, while the number of employees index decreased to negative 2 from positive 10, and the average wage index slipped to 11 from 19. The expected product demand during the next six months index dropped to 4 from 23.

The current price trend for the two sectors together rose to 1.30 from 1.25, while sliding to 1.46 from 2.10 for retail alone and gaining to 1.23 from 1.18 for services, excluding retail.

The expected price trend index for the two sectors together grew to 1.71 in July from 1.55 in June, while decreasing to 1.61 from 2.24 for retail alone and growing to 1.72 from 1.44 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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