By Colin Kellaher


Services activity in the middle of the U.S. continued to improve in April, and expectations for future activity also rose, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

The Tenth District Services Survey's composite index, a weighted average of indexes covering revenue/sales, employment and inventory, came in at 20 for April, compared with readings of 22 in March and 1 in February. Readings above zero indicate expansion, while those below zero indicate contraction.

The Kansas City Fed said its general revenue and sales index remained high in April, helped by more wholesale, retail, tourism and restaurant activity, while auto and real-estate activity fell slightly.

The bank said the pace of growth for input prices remained near record high in April, while selling prices rose to their highest level since the survey began in 2014. The Kansas City Fed said nearly 80% of the businesses it surveyed reported higher selling prices compared to pre-pandemic levels, mostly due to higher input prices.

The bank said some 65% of firms surveyed listed a lack of qualified workers among the biggest risks to business plans over the next year, while 46% flagged supply-chain issues.

The Kansas City Fed said expectations for future services activity came in at 26 in April, compared with reading of 26 in March and 20 in February, amid expectations of higher sales activity and increased wages and benefits.

The Kansas City Fed's survey includes participants from such service industries as retail and wholesale trade, automobile dealers, real estate and restaurants. The survey provides information on current services activity in the Tenth District, which includes Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, the northern half of New Mexico and the western third of Missouri.

The bank's monthly manufacturing survey, released Thursday, found that factory activity in the central part of the U.S. accelerated its expansion pace in April from already solid levels in March.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2021 11:39 ET (15:39 GMT)

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