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10.2 is better than the expectations of 9.0, and ahead of last month’s 7.3
Here’s some from the announcement:
Responses from manufacturing firms polled for this month’s Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand in February. The survey’s broad indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments all increased from their readings in January. Firms reported near-steady employment levels but an increase in average work hours. More firms reported higher input prices this month, and a sizable share of firms reported price increases for their own manufactured goods. The survey’s broad indicators of future activity fell from levels in recent months but continue to reflect op-timism about future manufacturing growth.
Indicators Suggest Continued Expansion
The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, edged higher from a reading of 7.3 in January to 10.2, its highest level since October (see Chart). The demand for manufactured goods also showed improvement this month: The new orders index was positive for the fifth consecutive month and increased from 6.9 to 11.7. The shipments index also remained positive and increased 9 points. The indexes for both delivery times and unfilled orders recorded slightly positive readings this month, compared with their negative readings in January.
Firms’ responses suggest near-steady levels of employment this month. The current employment index, which has been positive for six consecutive months, fell from a reading of 11.6 in January to 1.1 this month, suggesting little overall growth in employment. The percentage of firms reporting an increase in employment (14 per cent) was only slighter greater than the percentage reporting decreases (13 per cent). Firms reporting a longer workweek (20 per cent) outnumbered those reporting a shorter one (10 per cent), and the current workweek index increased 5 points.
More to come…
The final big datapoint of the day: The February Philly Fed Index.
Analysts expect a reading of 9.0 vs. 7.3 in January.
In general, these regional Fed surveys have been pretty strong.
We’ll have the numbers here LIVE at 10:00 AM ET.
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