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Philadelphia Fed: Manufacturing Increased Modestly in April

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (04/16/15)

Manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region increased at a modest pace in April, 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, increased from 5.0 in March to 7.5 this month.

Firms’ responses suggest some improvement in labor market conditions compared with March. The current employment index increased eight points, to 11.5, its highest reading in five months. The percentage of firms reporting an increase in employees in April (21%) exceeded the percentage reporting a decrease (9%). Meanwhile, the percentage of firms reporting a longer workweek (14%) was greater than the percentage reporting a shorter workweek (10%) for the first time in four months.