The region's manufacturing sector expanded in August, but at a slower pace than in July, as the general business conditions index decreased to 18.9 from 19.5 in July, this month's Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates.

Economists surveyed by IFR Markets predicted a reading of 18.0 for the index.

The prices paid index was 21.1, up from 19.1 last month, new orders index soared to 20.4 from 2.1, shipments grew to 29.4 from 12.2, the unfilled orders index increased to 14.5 from 7.2, the delivery times index gained to 10.5 from 7.4, inventories fell to negative 6.1 from positive 0.7, prices received climbed to 13.5 from 9.0, the number of employees index fell to 10.1 from 10.9, and the average employee workweek jumped to 18.8 from 3.8.

The six months from now general business conditions index rose to 42.3 from 36.9 in last month’s survey, the prices paid index was at 34.8, off from 46.6 in the prior survey, and the prices received index rose to 40.4 from 29.7. The capital expenditures index slid to 39.2 from 42.0 last month. The number of employees index increased to 33.1 from 27.0, while the average workweek index surged to 15.3 from 4.3. The new orders index grew to 49.1 from 39.4, shipments rose to 44.1 from 25.9; and the unfilled orders index gained to 16.9 from 11.4. The delivery times index increased to 6.8 from 1.6, and inventories climbed to 26.2 from 25.8.

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