Expansion Pace of Manufacturing Activity in Philly Fed's District Accelerates in April
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Growth of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area
accelerated in April to its highest point in nearly 50 years, data
from a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
The index for current general activity stood at 50.2 in April,
up from a downwardly revised 44.5 in March. The reading is above
economists' forecasts in a The Wall Street Journal poll, which
expected it to come in at 42.0.
The survey polls manufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve
District--which covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey
and Delaware--about the direction of change in overall business
activity and in various other measures at their plants on a monthly
The index signals that overall manufacturing activity in the
region continued to expand in April for the eleventh straight
month, growing at the fastest pace since April 1973.
In April, 59% of firms reported increases in overall activity,
while only 8% reported decreases.
The survey's indicators for general activity, shipments, and
employment all rose. Respondents continued to report increases in
The new orders index edged down two points to 36.0 in April,
while the shipments index increased three points to 25.3.
The employment index increased to 30.8 in April from a revised
reading of 27.4 in March, its highest recorded reading, suggesting
that firms continued to add to their payrolls. More than 35% of the
responding firms reported increases in employment, while only 4%
Respondents continued to report price pressures from purchased
inputs. The prices paid index edged down four points to 69.1 in
April after reaching a 40-year high in March.
Firms also reported overall increases in prices for their own
manufactured goods, with the prices received index increasing four
points to 34.5.
The survey's indicators for future general activity showed that
manufacturing firms in the area remain optimistic about near-term
The diffusion index for general activity over the next six
months rose eight points to 66.6, its highest reading since October
1991. The future new orders index, shipments and employment indexes
all rose sharply.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 15, 2021 09:11 ET (13:11 GMT)
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