Philly Fed: Manufacturing Flat In September

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region has stalled as the survey released Thursday by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve shows the second month of declining new orders and shipments.

Although the Philly Fed said its index of current activity ticked up slightly to -0.7 in September from -7.7 in August, the new orders index fell to -8.1 from -7.1, remaining negative for the third consecutive month. The shipments index fell to -7.1 from -4.5 in August, remaining negative for the second consecutive month.

The report covers businesses in the third federal district, which encompasses eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

The Philly Fed said 18 percent of companies reported an increase in employment while 16 percent reported decreases.

The survey's broad indicators of future activity continue to suggest that the region's manufacturing executives expect growth in business over the next six months, but optimism remains below the levels indicated earlier in the year.

The future general activity index remained positive for the 21st consecutive month and increased 7 points, to a reading of 26.3.
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