Thursday, March 19, 2009

Philly Fed: Continued Contraction, Employment Index at Record Low

by Calculated Risk on 3/19/2009 10:00:00 AM

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

The region's manufacturing sector continued to contract this month, according to firms polled for the March Business Outlook Survey. Indexes for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment remained significantly negative. Employment losses were substantial again this month, with over half of the surveyed firms reporting declines. ...

The survey's broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, edged higher, from -41.3 in February to -35.0 this month. Last month's reading was the lowest since October 1990. The index has been negative for 15 of the past 16 months, a period that corresponds to the current recession ...

The current employment index fell for the sixth consecutive month, declining six points, to -52.0, its lowest reading in the history of the survey.
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 negative for 15 of the past 16 months, a period that corresponds to the current recession ."