Thursday, May 20, 2010

Philly Fed Index increases slightly in May, New orders index declines

by Bill McBride on 5/20/2010 10:00:00 AM

Here is the Philadelphia Fed Index released today: Business Outlook Survey.

The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased slightly from 20.2 in April to 21.4 this month. The index has now edged higher for four consecutive months and has remained positive for the ninth consecutive month (see Chart). Although still positive and suggesting growth, indexes for new orders and shipments showed a mixed pattern this month: The new orders index fell 8 points, while the shipments index increased 10 points. The current inventory index decreased 10 points and fell into negative territory, suggesting declines in inventories. Indexes for unfilled orders and delivery times were both negative this month, suggesting some weakening in activity from April.
emphasis added
Philly Fed Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the Philly index for the last 40 years.

The index has been positive for nine months now, after being negative or zero for 21 straight months.

The internals suggest manufacturing conditions are softening a little, as also suggested earlier by the New York Empire State manufacturing index.