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Philadelphia Fed November Outlook Suggest Improvement
Results from the Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity showed improvement in November. All of the survey's broad indicators of economic performance showed improvement from their reading in October, and firms reported an increase in employment and work hours. More firms reported increases in input prices this month, although downward pressure on the prices of firms' manufactured goods was still evident. The survey's broad indicators of future activity suggest that firms remain optimistic about growth over the next six months.
Indicators Suggest Improvement
The survey's broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from a reading of 1.0 in October to 22.5 in November. This is the highest reading in the index since last December. Indexes for new orders and shipments also improved this month, and each index increased 15 points. Indexes for both delivery times and un-filled orders changed from negative to positive this month, suggesting improvement.
Labor market conditions also showed some improvement this month, paralleling the improvement in other broad indicators. This month, firms also reported some growth in employment and a longer workweek. The percentage of firms reporting increases in employment (27 percent) was greater than the percentage of firms reporting decreases (14 percent). The index for employment was positive for the third consecutive month and increased 11 points. The average workweek index increased significantly, from -6.0 to 10.9.
Posted: November 18, 2010 Thursday 10:00 AM