US Fifth District Services Sector Activity Flat in December

The US Fifth District Survey of Service Sector Activity’s revenues index dropped to 0 in December 2023 from 1 in November. However, the demand gauge improved from -1 to 2. Local business conditions also showed signs of improvement as firms became less pessimistic, with the index increasing from -9 to 0 in December. Moreover, expectations for local business conditions improved from -7 to 4. Employment also saw a slight increase, with the index rising from 2 to 5 in December. Firms reported wage increases and minimal changes in finding skilled workers. Over the next six months, firms expect to hire more but foresee challenges in finding skilled workers. They also plan to continue wage increases. The growth rates in prices paid and received slightly decreased in December, and firms anticipate a moderation in these rates in the next year. Expectations for future revenue and demand increased, particularly with demand expectations reaching positive territory.

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