By Colin Kellaher


Growth in services activity in the middle of the U.S. eased again but remained positive in September, while expectations for future activity edged higher, 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 13 for September, down slightly from 14 in August and below July's reading of 25. Readings above zero indicate expansion, while those below zero indicate contraction.

The Kansas City Fed said September's reading reflects an increase in wholesale, real-estate, and professional and high-tech business activity, while auto, transportation and restaurant activity declined.

The bank said many firms surveyed reported staffing shortages amid rising demand for goods and services, while input and selling prices were higher than a year ago for the majority of firms.

Some 88% of those surveyed reported higher input costs due to elevated material or labor expenses, but few said they were able to fully pass those increased costs through to customers in the form of higher prices.

The Kansas City Fed said expectations for future services activity remained ticked up to 27 in September from 26 in August.

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. also slipped but remained positive in September.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 24, 2021 11:50 ET (15:50 GMT)

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