Dallas Fed service sector data

  • General business activity 5.4 vs 33.3 prior -- weakest since Feb
  • Employment 17.6 vs 13.5 prior -- best reading since 2007
  • Wages and benefits 32.6 vs 27.2 -- record high
  • Input prices 41.9 vs 41.9 prior
  • Sales index +7.9 vs -0.2 prior
  • Full report

Selected comments:

  • The rise of the Delta variant has definitely dampened activity. We expect August and possibly September activity to be down 25-50 percent.
  • Labor costs are rising in all sectors. Supply-chain issues are still slowing our economy.
  • The current change in our company's outlook is a little undecided until we have a better understanding of the Delta variant and how it may affect the economy. People are nervous again about COVID.
  • Wage pressure is driving costs to provide services up. Vendor and manufacturer supply lines, along with inflation, are driving selling prices up. We cannot increase capital expenditures because we can't get anything from our manufacturers to sell.
  • We've had to step on the brakes on steady growth projection due to the spike in the Delta variant. We are experiencing absenteeism and/or having to revert back to the work-from-home scenario due to positive exposure, quarantine and closing of daycare centers and schools.
  • Even with the surge of the Delta variant, our business has continued to improve. I don't know if I have ever seen a more aggressive real estate market than we are witnessing now.
  • We are interviewing candidates for mid-level and advanced administrative positions. Most applicants are already gainfully employed and are trying to upgrade their wages. Their current wages and expectations are on average 20 percent higher than pre-COVID wages.
  • We are still experiencing supply-chain issues and have the largest backlog ever in our history of goods, which have been ordered by customers but which are now taking between 30 to 120 days to deliver when we used to deliver most goods in one to two weeks.
  • We are seeing a prolonged decrease in volume since June of about 10-15 percent. This is likely related to the COVID-19 surge in combination with summer slowdown.
  • With the Delta variant, our business seems to have slowed considerably (more than I would have anticipated). Is this a blip or the beginning of another round of group cancellations? I believe the Labor Day weekend will be incredibly telling. -- Accommodation
  • August is Houston Restaurant Weeks, which brings in a lot of business. When September comes, things will drop. We can't hire employees. No one came back to offices when the Delta variant kicked up. Kids going back to school was supposed to be the catalyst to get everyone back to offices. It wasn't.
  • The Delta variant has thrown off our recovery.
  • (automotive) Disruptions with the supply chain have greatly impacted sales in a negative way. Our business suffers from a dramatic shortage of inventory, therefore reducing vehicle sales.

Almost every single comment dwells on delta or supply chain issues. Delta is going to have an effect but it should improve in the months ahead. Supply chain issues are getting worse though.