The region's manufacturing sector expanded in January, at a slower pace than in December, as the general business conditions index decreased to 22.2 from 27.9 in December, this month's Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates.

Economists surveyed by IFR Markets predicted a reading of 25.0 for the index.

The prices paid index was 32.9, up from 27.8 last month, new orders index fell to 10.1 from 28.2, shipments rose to 30.3 from 23.9, the unfilled orders index decreased to negative 1.8 from positive 12.8, the delivery times index dropped to 6.1 from 11.0, inventories reversed to positive 9.4 from negative 1.1, prices received soared to 25.1 from 12.6, the number of employees index fell to 16.8 from 19.7, and the average employee workweek grew to 16.7 from 12.6.

The six months from now general business conditions index declined to 42.2 from 50.1 in last month’s survey, the prices paid index was at 54.2, off from 56.0 in the prior survey, and the prices received index rose to 44.1 from 39.4. The capital expenditures index slid to 36.2 from 38.5 last month. The number of employees index declined to 34.9 from 36.1, while the average workweek index slid to 10.6 from 18.58. The new orders index dropped to 46.2 from 59.0, shipments dipped to 49.9 from 51.8; and the unfilled orders index dropped to 8.2 from 12.4. The delivery times index rose to positive 3.8 from negative 2.2, and inventories plunged to 12.8 from 29.7.

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