Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: Business Outlook Survey: ‘ad pondus omnium’.

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+ Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index (Dec) 26.2 vs. 21.5 expected, previous  22.7

+ Business Conditions 53.5 previous period 50.1

+ Employment 18.1, previous period 22.6

+ New Orders 29.8, previous period 21.4

+ Price Paid 25.4, previous 39.0

Current Indicators Suggest Solid Growth

Nearly 41% of the firms surveyed indicated an increase in activity this month. This is up from 35% of firms reported so last month. Current new orders and shipments increased from last month, albeit modestly, 8 and 2 points, respectively. The moderation suggesting longer delivery times and more unfilled orders.

Moreover, firms reported more hires for the month, keeping the employment index within the positive bounds now for 13 consecutive months. The average workweek index declined 3 points bringing the measure down from its positive territory, where it has been for 14 months in a row; this largely attributed to seasonal effects.

Of the firms surveyed, 26% of them reported higher input prices in December. Which is down from 39% of firms reported so in the previous month. Offsetting this, however, was the price received index increased only modestly from 8.6 in the previous month to December’s reading of 11.3. 

Firms surveyed also expected higher outlays for health benefits in the month’s to come, as reported in the special questions section of the report. All in all, firms remain optimistic given the diffusion index for future general activity increased from 50.1 in November to 53.5  this month. Additionally, the indexes for future new orders and shipments remained upbeat, increasing both by 3 points.

Summary 

Responses to the December Manufacturing
Business Outlook Survey suggest continued growth for
the region’s manufacturing sector. The indexes for
general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment all indicated expansion this month. The firms reported lessened input price pressures compared with last month, but slightly more firms reported price increases for their own manufactured goods. Most broad indicators reflecting firms’ expectations for the next six months improved modestly this month.

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Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: Business Outlook Survey

Market Sensitivity: Low to medium.

What Is It: A survey of manufacturing activity in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and the state of Delaware.

Most Current News Release on the Internet: www.phil.frb.org/econ/bos/index.html

Home Web Address: www.phil.frb.org

Release Time: 10:00 a.m. (ET); data is released on the third Thursday of the month being covered.

Frequency: Monthly.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Revisions: No monthly revisions take place, but the Philadelphia Fed does make annual benchmark changes at the start of the year.”

Bernard Baumohl. The Secrets of Economic Indicators.

Market Impact
Bonds

The Business Outlook Survey by the Philadelphia Fed isn’t a huge market mover. Yet traders of fixed-income securities do track it because this report can tip off analysts about the results of the more influential national ISM survey when it is released days later.

Stocks

Investors keep an eye on the Business Outlook Survey, but they usually do not initiate major trades based on its information alone.

Dollar

Foreign exchange traders largely disregard this release.

 

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-R.W.N II

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