Forget the government shutdown, Northeast manufacturing is continuing to grow, according to the October 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 22.3 for September, analysts had expected growth to simmer down to 15.0, but actual results came in at a stronger-than-expected 19.8. While 16% of responding firms reported decreased activity, a solid 36% reported increases, enough to chalk up October as the fifth straight month of positive readings for the index.
Dissecting the index into components, the all-important new orders jumped six points to 27.5, the highest reading in two and a half years. Shipments kept up with a slight one-point drop to 20.4, while inventories, delivery times, and unfilled orders all added on points to their positive September readings.
Looking ahead, October's optimism looks like it'll last. The survey's future conditions (six months from now) index registered a 2.6-point increase to hit 60.8, a new recovery high.