Manufacturing in Mid-Atlantic Region Rebounds In July

Manufacturing in the Mid-Atlantic region blew past expectations in July after posting a large decline the month before, according to a survey released by The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The Philly Fed’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey for current general activity jumped to 21.8 from 0.3 in June, way above Econoday’s consensus of 4.5. Last month’s print fell 16.6 points from May.

“Much stronger than expected — almost too strong to be plausible given the global backdrop,” said Jim O’Sullivan, the chief economist of High Frequency Economics. “Details of the report were strong as well.”

The bank said manufacturers reported increased employment as the employee index rose 14.6 points from the month before to 30, its highest level since October 2017, while the average workweek gauge added 15.7 points to 23. The Philly Fed said more than 36% of firms reported gains in employment while 6% reported decreases.

The shipments index rose 8.3 points from June to 24.9 while the new orders index jumped 10.6 points to 18.9. The current inventories index rose 5.7 points to 8.1.

The Philly Fed said nearly 53% of manufacturers increased activity over the next six months while 15% expect declines. The bank’s six-month general business outlook index jumped 16.6 points to 38.

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