Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s region “continued to weaken this month,” as the general business conditions index declined to negative 24.9 in April from negative 17.4 in March, this month’s Report on Business indicates.

Economists surveyed by IFR Markets predicted a reading of negative 15.0 for the index.

The prices paid index was 51.6, compared to 54.4 in March. The new orders index slipped to negative 18.8 from negative 9.3, shipments decreased to negative 8.0 from negative 6.3, the unfilled orders index crept to negative 16.8 from negative 18.7, the delivery times index reversed to positive 4.2 from negative 10.3, inventories declined to negative 26.2 from negative 13.5, prices received jumped to 30.9 from 21.2, the number of employees index dropped to negative 11.1 from negative 4.7, and average employee workweek slumped to negative 12.3 from negative 10.0.

The six-months-from-now general business conditions index improved to positive 13.7 from negative 0.5 in last month’s survey, prices paid was at 55.3, down from 64.1 in the prior survey, and the prices received index was at 33.4, off from 36.2. The capital expenditures index was at positive 13.8, up from negative 2.7 last month.

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