Thursday, March 21, 2013

Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Shows Expansion in March

by Calculated Risk on 3/21/2013 01:57:00 PM

Catching up ... earlier from the Philly Fed: March Manufacturing Survey

Manufacturers responding to the March Business Outlook Survey reported slight increases in business activity this month. Indicators for general activity and new orders increased notably, following negative readings over the previous two months. Indicators for shipments and employment remained positive and improved slightly this month. Changes in the surveyʹs broad indicators of future activity were mixed but continued to reflect general optimism about growth over the next six months.

The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from a reading of -12.5 in February to 2.0 this month ... The new orders index increased from a reading of -7.8 in February to 0.5, its first positive reading in three months.

The employment index increased from 0.9 in February to 2.7 this month, its second consecutive positive reading.
emphasis added
Last week, the Empire State manufacturing survey also indicated expansion in March.

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

The average of the Empire State and Philly Fed surveys increased in March, and is back above zero.   This suggests the ISM manufacturing index will show further expansion in March.