The region's manufacturing sector contracted in January, as the general business conditions index slipped to negative 5.8 from positive 4.6 in December, this month's Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters predicted a reading of positive 6.0 for the index.

The prices paid index was 14.7, compared to 23.5 last month, new orders index reversed to negative 4.3 from positive 4.9, shipments fell to 0.4 from 14.7, the unfilled orders index rose to negative 1.0 from negative 2.0, the delivery times index narrowed to negative 2.0 from negative 6.0, inventories climbed to negative 6.5 from negative 7.8, prices received dropped to negative 1.1 from positive 12.4, the number of employees index declined to negative 5.2 from negative 0.2, and the average employee workweek slumped to negative 8.3 from positive 0.4.

The six months from now general business conditions index rose to 29.2 from 23.7 in last month's survey, the prices paid index was at 34.3, down from 45.8 in the prior survey, and the prices received index fell to 21.7 from 25.6. The capital expenditures index slid to 6.0 from 10.4 last month. The number of employees index decreased to 10.7 from 11.2, while the average workweek index dropped to 8.9 from 14.4. The new orders index gained to 32.5 from 28.3; shipments rose to 38.9 from 28.0; and the unfilled orders index increased to 2.9 from 2.7. The delivery times index fell to negative 8.5 from positive 2.5, and inventories narrowed to negative 2.3 from negative 2.5.

The December numbers were revised from the originally reported number s as part of the Fed's annual revision.

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