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ECON: Philly Fed Index Turns Positive, Highest Since April
Posted to: Micro News
Thursday, December 20, 2012 10:07 AM
- Philly Fed Index 8.1 vs -3.0 Consensus
- New Orders 10.1 vs -4.6 previously
- New orders highest since February
- Employment/Business Conditions highest since April
Manufacturing activity rebounded this month, according to firms responding to the December Business Outlook Survey. Following reported declines in business activity in late October and early November from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, most of the survey’s measures showed notable improvement this month. The survey’s broad indicators of future activity also showed improvement this month.
Indicators Suggest a Pickup at Year-End
The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from a reading of ‑10.7 in November to 8.1 this month. This is the highest reading since April and is slightly above the reading before the post-storm decline in November (see Chart). The demand for manufactured goods picked up: the new orders index increased 15 points, from ‑4.6 in November to 10.7 this month. The current shipments index also improved notably, rising by 25 points.
Labor market conditions at the reporting firms improved marginally this month. The current employment index, at 3.6, registered its first positive reading in six months. The percentage of firms reporting increases in employment (20 percent) narrowly exceeded the percentage reporting decreases (16 percent). Firms also indicated an increase in the average workweek compared to last month.
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