Today’s report on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region was slightly weaker than expected (7.6 vs 7.8) and down slightly from last month’s reading of 9.7. For a report as volatile as this one, though, the magnitude of the miss is pretty negligible. This month’s report marked the fourth straight month where the headline index was positive, and while that may not sound like much, that’s the first time it has happened since the middle of 2015.
The table to the right breaks down this month’s report by each of its subcategories. While the headline reading of General Business conditions declined this month, every one of the sub categories showed improvement, with the largest gains coming from Inventories, Prices Paid, and Prices Received. In the case of Inventories, this month’s increase comes on the heels of a sharp decline last month, so the two months are essentially just netting each other out. For Prices Paid and Received, both are now currently at the high end of their range in the last couple of years. Finally, New Orders didn’t see an especially large increase this month, but still managed to hit its highest level since November 2014.