Business Outlook Survey Shows Modest Growth
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey showed modest growth in the region's manufacturing sector in February. While the diffusion index for current general activity fell to 5.2 from 6.3 in January, it remained positive.
There also was a slight improvement in the indicators for current labor market conditions in February, with the employment index up six points, marking a return to a positive reading. Of the firms surveyed, 21% reported gains in employment, while 17% reported decreases. However, the workweek index was negative and little changed from January. Firms are optimistic about employment gains during the next six months.