Another really ugly regional Fed report, this time from Richmond, which just printed a negative -6 reading vs. expectations of 9, and a previous 10.
Service sector activity slowed in May, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Retail sales dwindled as shopper traffic dropped sharply; big ticket sales remained in decline. Revenues also weakened at non-retail services firms. Looking ahead six months, retail merchants pulled back from their optimism of a month ago. Non-retail services providers maintained a positive outlook, but were less upbeat than in April.
In service sector labour markets, retailers made few changes, while hiring rose solidly at non-retail firms, albeit more slowly than a month earlier. Average wages were nearly unchanged at retail establishments, but spiked at services firms.