Thursday, April 16, 2015

Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey increased to 7.5 in April

by Bill McBride on 4/16/2015 11:23:00 AM

Earlier from the Philly Fed: April Manufacturing Survey

Manufacturing activity in the region increased modestly in April, according to firms responding to this month’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. Indicators for general activity and new orders were positive but remained at low readings. Firms reported overall declines in shipments this month, but employment and work hours increased at the reporting firms. Firms reported continued price reductions in April, with indicators for prices of inputs and the firms’ own products remaining negative. The survey’s indicators of future activity suggest a continuation of modest growth in the manufacturing sector over the next six months.
...
The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from 5.0 in March to 7.5 this month. ...

Firms’ responses suggest some improvement in labor market conditions compared with March. The current employment index increased 8 points, to 11.5, its highest reading in five months.
emphasis added
This was above the consensus forecast of a reading of 5.0 for April.

Earlier this week, the NY Fed reported: April Empire State Manufacturing Survey Indicates Sluggish Conditions
The survey’s headline general business conditions index turned slightly negative for the first time since December, falling 8 points to -1.2 in a sign that the growth in manufacturing had paused. The new orders index—a bellwether of demand for manufactured goods—was also negative, pointing to a modest decline in orders for a second consecutive month. Employment growth slowed, too.
ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index. The yellow 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 this suggests a slightly weaker ISM report for April.