"The region's manufacturing sector is showing some signs of stabilizing," as the general business conditions index increased to positive 4.2 in August from negative 7.5 in July, this month's Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a reading of negative 2.0 for the index.

"Indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments all registered slightly positive readings this month. Although firms reported continued declines in employment and work hours this month, losses were not as widespread. Most of the survey's broad indicators of future activity continued to suggest that the region's manufacturing executives expect business activity to increase over the next six months."

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