Unlike the Empire Manufacturing report for April which came in weaker than expected and actually contracted, April’s release of the Philly Fed manufacturing report came in slightly better than expected hitting a level of 7.5 versus consensus expectations of 6.0. April’s rebound is welcome, but after four months where the headline reading has fallen from a two-decade high of 40.2 down to 5.0, there is much room for improvement.
The table to the right breaks down this month’s report by each of the individual components. In April’s report five of the nine components were positive. This month’s biggest improvements came from Average Workweek and Delivery Times, while Prices Paid and New Orders were the only two components to decline. In the case of Prices Paid, that component fell to its lowest level since June 2009. Finally, one interesting disparity between the April Philly Fed and Empire Manufacturing reports is the employment related components. While both Average Workweek and Number of Employees declined in the Empire Manufacturing report, they both saw considerable improvement in the survey of the Philly region.