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Financial News: Philadelphia Manufacturing Activity Nearly Flat In Decembe

Philadelphia Manufacturing Activity Nearly Flat In December

12/19/2019 - 09:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity was nearly flat in the month of December, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday.

The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current general activity tumbled to 0.3 in December from 10.4 in November, with zero serving as the demarcation point between contraction and expansion. Economists had expected the index to dip to 8.0.

With the much bigger than expected decrease, the Philly Fed Index slumped to its lowest reading in six months.

While the broad indicator for current activity dropped to a reading near zero this month, the Philly Fed said indicators for new orders, shipments, and employment remained at higher positive readings.

The new orders index edged up to 9.4 in December from 8.4 in November, while the shipments index jumped to 15.9 from 9.8.

The number of employees index slid to 17.8 in December from 21.5 in November, although the positive reading still indicates job growth.

The report also said the prices paid index surged up to 19.0 in December from 7.8 in November, while the prices received index slipped to 11.9 from 12.2.

Looking ahead, the Philly Fed said the survey's future indexes indicate respondents continue to expect growth over the next six months.

The diffusion index for future general activity edged down to 35.2 in December from 35.8 in November but remained firmly positive.

On Monday, the New York Fed released a separate report showing regional manufacturing activity has grown at a slightly faster rate in the month of December.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index inched up to 3.5 in December from 2.9 in November. Economists had expected the index to rise to 4.0.

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