Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (12/17/15)
Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region deteriorated in December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The diffusion index for current activity returned to negative territory this month, decreasing from 1.9 to -5.9. This is the third negative reading in the past four months. The index for current new orders remained negative and fell six points, to -9.5. However, the current shipments index increased six points to a reading of 3.7.
The survey’s indicators for labor market conditions were slightly improved this month. The percentage of firms reporting increases in employment (16%) was slightly greater than the percentage reporting decreases (11%). The employment index increased nearly two points, from 2.6 to 4.1. Firms also reported an increase in average work hours in December. The workweek index registered its first positive reading in three months, increasing 22 points to 5.5.