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Manufacturing in Mid-Atlantic slows in September

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Manufacturing in Mid-Atlantic slows in September

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia releases its monthly barometer of manufacturing activity.

Firms responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey indicated continued growth in the region’s manufacturing sector in September. Although the current activity index fell from its relatively high reading in August, the other broad indicators increased from their readings last month. The survey’s indicators for future manufacturing conditions reflect general optimism about growth in activity and employment over the next six months.

"The employment index increased 12 points to its highest reading since May 2011."

The current new orders and shipments indexes edged higher this month, however, increasing 1 point and 5 points, respectively. Indexes for both unfilled orders and delivery times were positive this month, suggesting continued strengthening conditions.

The survey’s indicators for labor market conditions suggest notable improvement this month. The employment index increased 12 points to its highest reading since May 2011. The percentage of firms reporting increases in employment (26%) exceeded the percentage reporting decreases (5%). The workweek index was positive for the seventh consecutive month but fell nearly 9 points.

Over 31 percent of the firms reported higher input prices this month, just slightly higher than the level reported last month. The prices paid index increased 2 points. The prices received index, which reflects firms’ own final goods prices, also edged slightly higher, from 4.2 to 8.8. The percent of firms reporting higher prices (13%) exceeded the percentage reporting lower prices (4%), although nearly 80% of the firms reported steady prices.

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