The Philadelphia Fed’s survey of business conditions climbed just 0.5 points to 7.0 from a prior reading of 6.5.
Consensus was for a print of 10.0.
The labour subcomponent only climbed a point.
Still, the index has now been positive for seven consecutive months. The current shipments and new orders indices both increased after falling in November.
Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius considers it one of the best predictors of overall U.S. economic growth.
But Citi’s Peter D’Antonio disagrees.
“In the absence of data we caution against looking at the Philly survey, as it is notoriously erratic and poorly correlated with actual activity, in our view,” wrote D’Antonio in a preview of the release.