Thursday, April 19, 2012

Philly Fed: "Regional manufacturing activity expanded modestly" in April Survey

by Bill McBride on 4/19/2012 01:48:00 PM

Earlier from the Philly Fed: April 2012 Business Outlook Survey

The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, edged down from a reading of 12.5 in March to 8.5. Indexes for new orders and shipments remained positive but were slightly weaker than their March readings. The indexes for new orders and shipments, which decreased about 1 point, remain at relatively low readings.
...
Firms’ responses suggested a notable pickup in levels of employment this
month
. The current employment index, which has been positive for eight consecutive months, increased 11 points, to its highest reading in 11 months. ... The average workweek was near steady this month, with 75 percent of the firms surveyed reporting no change in average hours.
ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index. The dashed green line is an average of the NY Fed (Empire State) and Philly Fed surveys through April. The ISM and total Fed surveys are through March.

The average of the Empire State and Philly Fed surveys declined in April, and is at the lowest level this year.

Both the NY and Philly Fed surveys indicated expansion in April, at a slower pace than in March, and both were below the consensus forecast. However both surveys showed a strong increase in employment.

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