The bank's September Nonmanufacturing Business Outlook Survey found that the diffusion index for current general activity at the firm level decreased 3 points to 29.4 in September. Forty-one percent of the firms reported increases in activity, and 12 percent reported decreases.
The new orders index was little changed, at 9.7, after a 16-point fall in August. The share of firms reporting increases in new orders, 22 percent, was higher than the share reporting decreases, 12 percent.
The sales/revenues index fell from 28.5 in August to 22.5 in September. Nearly 40 percent of the responding firms reported increases in sales/revenues, while 17 percent reported decreases. The regional activity index edged up 2 points to 9.5.
The firms continued to report overall increases in full-time and part-time employment. The full-time employment index remained stable at 22.1, while the part-time employment index rose 10 points to 23.5.
Price indicator readings suggested overall increases in prices for inputs and for the firms' own goods and services, but both indicators ticked down. The prices paid index declined 3 points to 26.5. Regarding prices for firms' own goods and services, the prices received index edged down 2 points from August to 12.0 in September.
Both future activity indexes suggested that firms anticipated continued growth over the next six months. The diffusion index for future activity at the firm level moved up from a reading of 26.8 in August to 30.7 this month. The future regional activity index strengthened 18 points to 17.3.
The Nonmanufacturing Business Outlook Survey is a monthly survey of nonmanufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors in Washington D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System.