The region's manufacturing sector expanded in May, but at a faster pace than in April, as the general business conditions index increased to 38.8 from 22.0 in April, this month's Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a reading of 20.0 for the index.

The prices paid index was 24.2, down from 33.7 last month, new orders index slipped to 25.4 from 27.4, shipments rose to 39.1 from 23.4, the unfilled orders index increased to 9.0 from 6.6, the delivery times index fell to 6.4 from 13.2, inventories decreased to 1.4 from 17.8, prices received slid to 15.3 from 16.6, the number of employees index fell to 17.3 from 19.9, and the average employee workweek increased to 21.7 from 18.9.

The six months from now general business conditions index fell to 34.8 from 45.4 in last month’s survey, the prices paid index was at 42.7, up from 34.7 in the prior survey, and the prices received index dropped to 22.9 from 28.6. The capital expenditures index dipped to 32.6 from 36.5 last month. The number of employees index dipped to 29.2 from 37.6, while the average workweek index decreased to 0.3 from 15.6. The new orders index fell to 47.2 from 55.9, shipments declined to 38.5 from 44.7; and the unfilled orders index slipped to 11.5 from 22.2. The delivery times index rose to 7.8 from 4.5, and inventories fell to 7.4 from 12.1.

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