Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region was nearly flat in October, as the general business conditions index rose to a level of 1.0 from a previous reading of negative 0.7, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business.

Economists predicted a reading of 2.0 for the index, which tracks activity in a region that is heavily populated with chemical businesses. The general business conditions index for six months from now jumped to 41.0 from 26.3 in last month’s survey.

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