Thursday, March 17, 2016

Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey showed Expansion in March

by Bill McBride on 3/17/2016 11:59:00 AM

Earlier from the Philly Fed: March 2016 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey

Firms responding to the Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey reported an improvement in business conditions this month. The indicator for general activity rose sharply in March to its first positive reading in seven months. Other broad indicators offered similar signals of growth: The indexes for shipments and new orders also rose notably. Firms continued to report overall weak employment. With respect to the manufacturers’ forecasts, the survey’s future indicators also showed significant improvement this month.
...
The diffusion index for current activity increased from a reading of -2.8 in February to 12.4 this month, its first positive reading in seven months ...

The survey’s indicators of employment improved but suggest continued weakness. The employment index increased 4 points but remained slightly negative at -1.1.
emphasis added
This was above the consensus forecast of a reading of -1.4 for March.

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 March. The ISM and total Fed surveys are through February.

The average of the Empire State and Philly Fed surveys increased sharply in March (yellow).  This suggests the ISM survey might be above 50 this month.