Results from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's manufacturing business outlook survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand in April, but the pace of growth slowed by more than anticipated.
The Philly Fed said its index for current manufacturing activity in the region fell to 22.0 in April from 32.8 in March, although a positive reading indicates continued growth. Economists had expected the index to drop to 25.5.
The bigger than expected decrease by the headline index was partly due to a significant slowdown in the pace of new orders growth, as the new orders index tumbled to 27.4 in April from 38.6 in March.
The shipments index also slumped to 23.4 in April from 32.9 in March, indicating a notable slowdown in the pace of growth.
The report also said the prices paid index slid to 33.7 in April from 40.7 in the previous month, while the prices received index fell to 16.6 from 20.6.
On the other hand, the number of employees index rose to 19.9 in April from 17.5 in March, continuing to suggest expanding employment in the manufacturing sector.
The Philly Fed said the survey's future indicators continued to reflect general optimism but retreated from their high readings in the first three months of the year.
The diffusion index for future general activity dropped to 45.4 in April from 59.95 in March, which was the highest reading since August of 2014.
On Monday, the New York Fed released a separate report showing that the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity slowed by much more than anticipated.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index tumbled to 5.2 in April after dipping to 16.4 in March. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 15.0.
by RTT Staff Writer
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