The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond manufacturing index showed an unexpected drop in the month of June, falling to a reading of 3 from 7 in May. Bloomberg’s consensus estimate had the index remaining static at 7. This represents less growth, but sadly it also represents slower growth at the same time that prices are rising.
Service sector revenues rose more slowly in June than in May. The index fell by 4 points to settle at a reading of 9 in June. Hiring picked up however, with that index moving to 9 from 4.
Retail sales fell and big-ticket sales slackened, with shopper traffic rising more slowly than in May. The index fell 59 points to a reading of -6. Big-ticket sales faded, softening the index to 6 from May’s reading of 25. Shopper traffic moderated, falling 14 points lower at 12. Retail inventories declined, bringing the gauge to -8 from the previous reading of 35. Retailers’ outlook fell to 4 from 20.
The number of employees in the service sector increased, as retail hiring remained on pace with a month earlier and non-retail hiring intensified. Average wages rose more quickly in June at non-retail services firms, while wage growth slowed at retail establishments.
Revenues at service providers picked up this month, rising to 13 from 7. Employment also strengthened, with the index for the number of employees rising to 10 from 3 in June.
Price growth in the broad service sector was little changed from a month earlier, gaining by an annualized 1.25% rate versus 1.21% a month earlier. Within the sector, retail price growth rose to 1.49% in June from May’s 1.08% rate.