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Philadelphia Fed: Manufacturing Firms See Notable Decline in December

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (12/18/14)

The pace of regional manufacturing activity remained positive but decreased in December, according to firms responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, decreased 16 points, from a reading of 40.8 in November to 24.5 in December. The demand for manufactured goods, as measured by the current new orders index, decreased 20 points, from a reading of 35.7 last month to 15.7 this month. Despite these declines from November, all the broad current activity indexes show a positive trend over the course of the current year.

However, firms’ responses suggest deterioration in the labor market compared with November. The current employment index fell 15 points, as the percentage of firms reporting an increase in employees fell from 29% in November to 17% in December.