Manufacturing Conditions Continue To Improve
According to the January Business Outlook Survey, regional manufacturing activity expanded as all the broad indicators remained positive. The diffusion index of current activity edged up to 7.3 from 6.8 the previous month while demand for manufactured goods improved as well. The new orders index remained positive for the fourth consecutive month but dropped to 6.9 from December’s 10.7 reading. The shipments index dropped 3 points but is still in positive territory while both delivery times and unfilled orders were negative for January.
Employment seems to be up as the current employment index has been positive for five consecutive months, staying steady for January. There were 21% of firms reporting an increase in employment along with 23% reporting a longer workweek. Prices seem to be increasing as indexes for prices paid and prices received were both up as 35% of firms reported higher input prices while prices paid increased 1 point.
The future general activity index increased from 40 in December to 49 in January, making it the fifth consecutive month for increases. The indexes for future new orders and shipments improved as well while future employment shot up 8 points.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia