Manufacturing is making positive moves in the Northeast, according to a July Philadelphia Federal Reserve report (link opens as PDF) released today.
The "Philly Fed" publishes the results of a monthly survey asking regional (eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware ) manufacturing stakeholders whether certain components of manufacturing have experienced growth (positive number), or contraction (negative number). Investors watch regional manufacturing reports as a possible signal of larger economic upswings or downturns.
After clocking in at 12.5 for June, analysts had expected a more moderate 9.0 reading for July. However, actual results came in at 19.8, the index's largest measurement since March 2011.
Dissecting the index into components, shipments increased 10.2 points, to 14.3, while inventories continued to decline 15 points, to -21.6. New orders recorded growth at 10.2, but July's reading is six points less than last month's.
Looking ahead, July's optimism seems as if it'll last. The survey's future conditions (six months from now) index registered an 11.2 point increase, to 44.9. New orders are up 17 points, followed by a 14-point increase in the index's shipments component. In contrast to June, more firms than not (52%) expect overall business conditions to improve over the next six months.