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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Philly Fed: Regional manufacturing activity contracted in May Survey

by Calculated Risk on 5/17/2012 10:11:00 AM

From the Philly Fed: May 2012 Business Outlook Survey

Firms responding to the May Business Outlook Survey indicated that manufacturing growth fell back from the pace of recent months. The survey’s broad indicators for general activity fell into negative territory for the first time in eight months. Indicators for new orders and employment also suggested slight declines from April.
The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, fell from a reading of 8.5 in April to -5.8 in May. The index for new orders fell four points, from 2.7 to -1.2, its first negative reading in eight months.
The current employment index, which had been positive for eight consecutive months, decreased 19 points, to -1.3. ... Firms also reported a slight decrease in average hours worked compared with April.
ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index. The dashed green line is an average of the NY Fed (Empire State) and Philly Fed surveys through May. The ISM and total Fed surveys are through April.

The NY and Philly Fed surveys went in opposite directions this month. The NY Fed survey showed stronger expansion; the Philly Fed survey indicated contraction. The average of the Empire State and Philly Fed surveys declined in May, and is at the lowest level this year.