The region's manufacturing sector expanded in October, as the general business conditions index improved to positive 5.7 from negative 1.9 in September, this month's Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a reading of positive 1.0 for the index.

The prices paid index was 19.0, compared to 8.0 last month, new orders index slipped to negative 0.6 from positive 1.0, shipments improved to negative 0.2 from negative 21.2, the unfilled orders index rose to negative 6.3 from negative 8.2, the delivery times index declined to negative 15.9 from negative 8.4, inventories surged to positive 2.1 from negative 21.7, prices received reversed to positive 5.4 from negative 0.2, the number of employees index slipped to negative 10.7 from negative 7.3, and the average employee workweek dipped to negative 7.6 from negative 7.3.

The six months from now general business conditions index slumped to 21.6 from 41.2 in last month's survey, the prices paid index was at 49.1, up from 38.0 in the prior survey, and the prices received index fell to 14.9 from 27.2. The capital expenditures index sank to negative 1.9 from positive 4.8 last month. The number of employees index slid to 8.0 from 21.4, while the average workweek index fell to 11.1 from 14.6. The new orders index slumped to 21.2 from 49.4; shipments dropped to 20.6 from 42.9; and the unfilled orders index decreased to 10.7 from 13.8. The delivery times index reversed to negative 0.3 from positive 6.8, and inventories rose to positive 0.5 from negative 4.7.

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