Thursday, September 17, 2009

Philly Fed Index Increases in September

by Calculated Risk on 9/17/2009 10:00:00 AM

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

The region’s manufacturing sector is showing signs of growth, according to firms polled for this month’s Business Outlook Survey. ...

The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from 4.2 in August to 14.1 this month. This is the highest reading since June 2007 and the second consecutive positive reading. The percentage of firms reporting increases in activity (33 percent)exceeded the percentage reporting decreases (19 percent). Other broad indicators
also suggested some growth this month. The current new orders index also remained positive for the second consecutive month, although it edged one point lower, to 3.3. The current shipments index increased eight points and has now increased 18 points over the last two months. Firms reported declines in inventories this month: The current inventory index declined 18 points, from 0.3 in August to ‐18.1. Indicators for unfilled orders and delivery times remained negative, suggesting continued weakness.

Labor market conditions remain weak, despite signs of improvement in overall activity. The current employment index decreased slightly, from ‐12.9 to ‐14.3. Overall declines, however, are still not as widespread as in the first six months of this year. ...
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 positive for two months now, after being negative for 19 of the previous 20 months. Employment is still weak.