Philadelphia Fed Survey: All Broad Indicators Positive for the First Time Since November 2007
Philadelphia Fed -- The region’s manufacturing sector is showing some signs of stabilizing, according to firms polled for this month’s Business Outlook Survey. Indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments all registered slightly positive readings this month. For the first time since November 2007, all of the survey’s broad indicators were positive.
Although firms reported continued declines in employment and work hours this month, losses were not as widespread. Most of the survey’s broad indicators of future activity continued to suggest that the region’s manufacturing executives expect business activity to increase over the next six months.
The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from ‐7.5 in July to 4.2 this month. This is the highest reading of the index since November 2007 (see chart above). The percentage of firms reporting increases in activity (27%) was slightly higher than the percentage reporting decreases (23%). Other broad indicators also suggested improvement. The current new orders index edged six points higher, from ‐2.2 to 4.2, also its highest reading since November 2007. The current shipments index increased 10 points, to a slightly positive reading.