Business Activity Decreased Moderately in September

Tenth District services activity decreased moderately in September, but expectations for future activity rose (Chart 1 & Table 1). The indexes for input and selling prices increased in September, although at a slightly slower rate. Firms expected input prices to expand further in the next six months and the index for future selling prices remained positive

The month-over-month services composite index was -7 in September, dropping considerably from 20 in August and July (Tables 1 & 2). The composite index is a weighted average of the revenue/sales, employment, and inventory indexes. Most month-over-month indexes were lower in September. The general revenue and sales index fell sharply, driven by less activity at restaurants, hotels, and auto dealers. The inventory index remained negative, and the index for part-time employment was steady. The indexes for employment, employee hours, wages and benefits, and capital expenditures expanded at a slower pace in September. However, the access to credit index inched higher into positive territory. Year-over-year indexes were generally as negative as in August, and the year-over-year composite was relatively unchanged at -23. Only the wages and benefits and price indexes increased versus a year ago. Expectations for future services activity grew in September, and the composite index rose from 11 to 19.