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Kansas City Fed Services Activity Index Turns Positive in October

10/23/2020 | 11:51am EDT

By Colin Kellaher

Services activity in the middle of the U.S. expanded in October, and expectations for future activity rose, according to a monthly survey by 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 12 for October, up from minus 7 in September. Readings above zero indicate expansion, while those below zero indicate contraction.

The Kansas City Fed said expectations for future services activity remained positive in October, but the index slipped to 7 from a reading of 19 in September.

The bank said all of its month-over-month indexes were positive in October, with the general revenue and sales index rebounding sharply from September thanks to more wholesale, retail, real-estate and health services activity.

Around 60% of firms contacted for the survey said employment levels were even with or exceeded pre-pandemic levels, and 24% said they expected employment levels to fully rebound by the end of next year.

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, showed that factory activity in the region expanded in October for a fifth straight month, and at slightly faster pace than that of September.

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-23-20 1150ET

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