In the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s region “overall conditions in the manufacturing sector deteriorated slightly in December,” as the general business conditions index decreased to negative 5.7 in December from positive 8.2 in November, according to this month’s Report on Business, released yesterday. Economists surveyed by IFR Markets predicted a reading of positive 6.2 for the index. The prices paid index was 35.0, compared to 37.7 in November. New orders index increased to 10.7 from 3.5, shipments increased to 18.4 from 4.7, the unfilled orders index improved to negative 4.5 from negative 9.2, the delivery times index gained to negative 1.4 from negative 11.7, inventories reversed to negative 6.7 from positive 2.5, prices received fell to 16.7 from 18.6, the number of employees index dropped to 0.5 from 4.8, and average employee workweek jumped to 7.0 from 1.6.The six months from now general business conditions index slid to 7.7 from 11.6 in last month’s survey, prices paid was at 41.3, down from 48.6 in the prior survey, and the prices received index was at 26.0, off from 27.1. The capital expenditures index was at 21.8, up from 7.1 last month. Number of employees index rose to 19.4 from 13.6, while the average workweek index rose to positive 2.0 from negative 0.9. The new orders index plunged to 9.2 from 20.5; shipments fell to 6.0 from 18.5; and the unfilled orders index decreased to negative 11.1 from negative 1.7. The delivery times index narrowed to negative 13.9 from negative 16.7, and inventories jumped to positive 1.0 from negative 10.4.

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