Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Northeast Manufacturing Rebounds Sharply

By Justin Loiseau – Mar 20, 2014 at 12:02PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The Philly Fed report points to better times following February's rough report.

Manufacturing is on the rebound in parts of the Northeast and Philadelphia area, according to a March 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 -6.3 for February, analysts had expected a turnaround to 3.0. Actual results clocked in a surprisingly strong 9.0. Weather wilted growth in February, but a sharp uptick in new orders and shipments shows that businesses are back in action.

Source: Philadelphia Federal Reserve. 

Dissecting the index into components, new orders pulled its -5.2 February reading into growth territory at 5.7 points. Shipments made an even sharper improvement, moving from -9.9 to 5.7. Unfilled orders knocked off a negative sign, pushing up from -2.6 to 2.6, while inventories slimmed 10.4 points to -6.8. 

Looking ahead, March's optimism seems as if it'll last. The survey's future conditions (six months from now) index came in at 35.4, down slightly from February's 40.2 reading, but still positive. While new orders shaved off 3.2 points to hit 32.2, shipments expanded 5.1 points to 41.1. 


We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.