Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (09/17/15)
Manufacturing conditions for September were mixed in the Philadelphia region, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, decreased from 8.3 in August to -6.0 in September. This is the first negative reading in the index since February 2014. However, the demand for manufactured goods, as measured by the survey’s current new orders index, showed continued growth. The diffusion index increased from 5.8 to 9.4. Meanwhile, the current shipments index remained positive but fell 2 points, to 14.8.
Firms’ responses suggest some improvement in employment conditions in September despite the reported lull in overall activity. The percentage of firms reporting an increase in employees in September (21%) was higher than the percentage reporting a decrease (11%). The current employment index increased 5 points, its highest reading in five months. Firms also reported, on balance, a modest increase in the workweek, similar to August.