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Philly Fed Mfg "Improved" in March

Summary:
From the Philly Fed: March 2019 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey Manufacturing conditions in the region improved this month, according to firms responding to the March Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments returned to positive territory, while the indicator for employment remained positive. Price pressures also moderated, according to the surveyed firms. Most of the survey’s indexes for future conditions continued to moderate, but the firms remained generally optimistic about growth over the next six months.The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased from a reading of -4.1 in February to 13.7 this month. The index nearly recovered its decline from last month, when it dropped to its first negative

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From the Philly Fed: March 2019 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey
Manufacturing conditions in the region improved this month, according to firms responding to the March Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments returned to positive territory, while the indicator for employment remained positive. Price pressures also moderated, according to the surveyed firms. Most of the survey’s indexes for future conditions continued to moderate, but the firms remained generally optimistic about growth over the next six months.

The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased from a reading of -4.1 in February to 13.7 this month. The index nearly recovered its decline from last month, when it dropped to its first negative reading in almost three years .
...
The firms continued to add to their payrolls this month. The current employment index, however, decreased from a reading of 14.5 in February to 9.6 this month.
emphasis added
Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Philly Fed Mfg "Improved" in March Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (yellow, through March), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through February) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through February (right axis).

This suggests the ISM manufacturing index will show expansion again in March, and probably at a slightly faster pace than in February.
Bill McBride
A full time blogger, Mr. McBride retired as a senior executive from a small public company in the '90s. Mr. McBride holds an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and has a background in management, finance and economics.

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