NEW YORK – The region's manufacturing sector expanded in January at a swifter pace than in December, as the general business conditions index climbed to 7.3 from 6.8 in December, this month’s Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a reading of 10.0 for the index.

The prices paid index was 31.8, compared to 30.4 last month, new orders index slipped to 6.9 from 10.7, shipments slid to 5.7 from 9.1, the unfilled orders index slumped to negative 4.1 from positive 5.1, the delivery times index reversed to negative 3.8 from positive 1.3, inventories improved to negative 6.3 from negative 11.5, prices received increased to 11.2 from 10.3, the number of employees index crept to 11.6 from 11.5, and average employee workweek jumped to 5.0 from 2.8.

The six months from now general business conditions index gained to 49.0 from 40.0 in last month’s survey, the prices paid index was at 52.7, up from 49.4 in the prior survey, and the prices received index fell to 23.8 from 26.4. The capital expenditures index surged to 22.9 from 10.8 last month. The number of employees index soared to 19.1 from 10.8, while the average workweek index grew to 9.2 from 4.5. The new orders index rose to 49.7 from 44.1; shipments grew to 48.2 from 36.4; and the unfilled orders index increased to 14.7 from 5.7. The delivery times index declined to negative 5.6 from negative 0.4, and inventories reversed to positive 3.3 from negative 5.0.



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