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UPDATE:A key reading of business activity in the Mid-Atlantic region continued to show broad weakness this morning, as manufacturing slowed for the fourth consecutive month.
The key business activity index from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia improved less-than-anticipated in August, up 5 points to -7.1.
Economists were looking for an advance to -5. Nonetheless, a reading below zero indicates contraction.
New orders fell by a slower rate in August, gaining 140 basis points to -5.5, even as more respondents said they did not slowdown or shut down plants during the summer.
Employment also remained weak, with the number of employees sub-index declining 20 basis points to -8.6.
“labour market conditions at the reporting firms deteriorated slightly this month,” the Fed said in its statement. “The per cent of firms reporting decreases in employment (15 per cent) exceeded the per cent reporting increases (7 per cent). Firms also indicated fewer hours worked this month”
Below, key output from the report.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is minutes away from releasing its monthly survey of business activity, a key gauge of conditions in the mid-Atlantic region.
Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast the index will increase in August, gaining 7.9 points to -5. A reading below zero indicates contraction.
The Federal Reserve Bank’s Third District covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.
The announcement is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. EST.