NEW YORK – The region's manufacturing sector expanded in March at a swifter pace than in February, as the general business conditions index climbed to 12.5 from 10.2 in February, this month’s Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates.
Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a reading of 12.0 for the index.
The prices paid index was 18.7, compared to 38.7 last month, new orders index slumped to 3.3 from 11.7, shipments dropped to 3.5 from 15.0, the unfilled orders index reversed to negative 11.0 from positive 2.2, the delivery times index decreased to negative 7.1 from positive 1.5, inventories jumped to positive 0.9 from negative 12.9, prices received dropped to 8.4 from 15.0, the number of employees index gained to 6.8 from 1.1, and the average employee workweek fell to 2.7 from 10.1.
The six months from now general business conditions index dropped to 32.9 from 33.3 in last month’s survey, the prices paid index was at 39.4, off from 50.4 in the prior survey, and the prices received index fell to 25.6 from 32.0. The capital expenditures index slid to 14.1 from 18.5 last month. The number of employees index slid to 21.8 from 22.5, while the average workweek index grew to 11.2 from 10.8. The new orders index rose to 36.4 from 32.5; shipments gained to 31.3 from 29.0; and the unfilled orders index increased to 9.1 from 8.3. The delivery times index improved to positive 0.1 from negative 2.7, and inventories grew to 5.8 from 3.9.