April Philadelphia Fed index shows expansion, rising costs

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Manufacturers report continued growth in April, but this month's Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business showed signs of increasing costs.

The region's manufacturing sector expanded in April, at a slightly faster pace than in March, as the general business conditions index increased to 23.2 from 22.3.

Economists surveyed by IFR Markets predicted a reading of 20.0 for the index.

The prices paid index was 56.4, up from 42.6 last month, new orders index slumped to 18.4 from 35.7, shipments declined to 23.9 from 32.4, the unfilled orders index fell to 7.8 from 20.1, the delivery times index gained to 20.7 from 14.0, inventories dropped to 9.5 from 16.5, prices received jumped to 29.8 from 20.7, the number of employees index grew to 27.1 from 25.6, and the average employee workweek gained to 21.6 from 12.8.

“Price increases for purchased inputs were reported by 59% of the manufacturers this month, up notably from 44% in March,” according to the report. “The prices paid diffusion index increased 14 points to its highest reading since March 2011. The current prices received index, reflecting the manufacturers’ own prices, increased 9 points to a reading of 29.8, its highest reading since May 2008.”

The six months from now general business conditions index fell to 40.7 from 47.9 in last month’s survey, the prices paid index was at 66.8, up from 62.8 in the prior survey, and the prices received index slid to 47.9 from 51.3. The capital expenditures index fell to 29.8 from 35.9 last month. The number of employees index slid to 34.6 from 37.1, while the average workweek index decreased to 14.0 from 21.8. The new orders index fell to 37.2 from 48.8, shipments gained to 47.9 from 43.4; and the unfilled orders index dropped to 7.6 from 10.8. The delivery times index held at 9.6, and inventories rose to 16.5 from 14.3.

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Economic indicators Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia