This month’s Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Report on Business indicates the region’s manufacturing sector continues to improve, as the general business conditions index increased to 21.4 in May from 20.2 in April,.

The prices paid index was 35.5 compared to 42.7 in April, while the new orders index fell to 6.1 from 13.9, shipments jumped to 15.8 from 5.6, the unfilled orders index dropped to negative 3.0 from negative 0.9, and the delivery times index slipped to negative 1.2 from 5.4.

Meanwhile, inventories slumped to negative 7.9 from positive 2.0, prices received increased to positive 3.5 from 1.0, the number of employees index slid to 3.2 from 7.3, and the average employee workweek slipped to 7.0 from 8.3.

The six-months-from-now general business conditions index slipped to 37.0 from 44.2 in last month’s survey, while the prices paid index was at 31.3, down from 50.6 in the prior survey, and the prices received index was at 15.8, down from 23.6.

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