About 64% of U.S firms expect growth in the next six months, more than 12% that project declines, according to the Federal Reserve Bank Philadelphia press release. The figures are based on a Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey that showed an increase in general activity, new orders, and shipments for the eighth consecutive month.
- The diffusion index for current activity rose from a revised reading of 9.1 in December to 26.5
- 40% of firms reported increases in activity this month, compared to 13% experiencing declines.
- The index for new orders increased 28 points to a reading of 30.0, its highest reading in three months
- Over 45% of firms reported increases in new orders, with the current shipments index gaining 11 points to 22.7 in January.
- More firms had increases in manufacturing employment, with the current employment index remaining positive for seven consecutive months, gaining 17 points to 22.5 in January
- More price increases were reported this month as the prices paid diffusion index increased 21 points to 45.4.
- Over 69% of firms expect to increase production in the first quarter, while 24% anticipate declines
- The diffusion index for general activity over the next six months increased 10 points, from a revised level of 43.1 to 52.8 in January.
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