Thursday, April 20, 2017

Philly Fed: Manufacturing "Continued to expand, but at a slower pace" in April

by Bill McBride on 4/20/2017 09:58:00 AM

Earlier from the Philly Fed: Current Indicators Continue to Reflect Growth

Results from the April Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand, but at a slower pace than last month. The diffusion indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments remained positive but fell from their readings in March. The current employment index, however, improved slightly and continues to suggest expanding employment in the manufacturing sector. The survey’s future indicators continued to reflect general optimism but retreated from their high readings in the first three months of the year.
...
The index for current manufacturing activity in the region decreased from a reading of 32.8 in March to 22.0 this month. The index has been positive for nine consecutive months and remains at a relatively high reading but has moved down the past two months ...
...
Firms reported an increase in manufacturing employment and work hours this month. The percentage of firms reporting an increase in employment (27 percent) exceeded the percentage reporting a decrease (8 percent). The current employment index improved 2 points, its fifth consecutive positive reading. Firms also reported an increase in work hours this month: The average workweek index was nearly unchanged at 18.9 and has registered a positive reading for six consecutive months.
emphasis added
Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Fed Manufacturing Surveys and ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (yellow, through April), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through March) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through March (right axis).

This suggests the ISM manufacturing index will show slower expansion in April (but still solid).