Service sector activity is slowing, according to the monthly Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia study of so-called nonmanufacturing business in the region, which includes South Jersey.The Nonmanufacturing Business Outlook Survey found that, in July, the percentage of firms reporting increased business activity fell to 40 percent, from nearly 60 percent in June. Likewise, those firms reporting decreasing activity rose to 38 percent, from only 8 percent in June. Its activity indexes dropped dramatically for the month, and the Philly Fed said the below-average readings are the lowest since early 2014.
The Fed said season patterns are partly to blame, rather than any sudden weakness in the economy.
Its new orders and sales indexes also slumped, both falling into negative ratings, from positive ones in June. The employment index and prices paid index both dropped from the previous month, as well.
Spending also slipped, with capital expenditures declining for the third straight month, the Fed said.
On the other hand, the survey found the expectations for the future held steady in July, at a rate above the historical average. No respondents expected a decline in regional activity over the next six months, either, the Fed added.
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