While manufacturing activity in the New York area sunk back to pre-election levels this month, the Philadelphia area continues to hum along. This month’s release of the Philly Fed General Business Conditions Index showed an increase from 22.0 in April up to 38.8. That’s the second highest level of the recovery behind only March’s reading of 43.3.
Looking at the internals of the report shows a much less robust picture though. As shown in the table to the right, just three of the report’s subcomponents increased this month while six declined. Of the three that did increase, two saw moves worth noting, which we highlight below. First, the index for Shipments rose to 39.1, which is the fifth highest reading in the history of the survey (dating back to 1980). The only months that were stronger were July 2004, December 1993, October 1988, and December 1987. In addition to Shipments, Average Workweek also surged, rising to 21.7 from 18.9. For that component, there have only been two other months (October 1987 and March 1984) of higher readings.