Manufacturing in Philadelphia Expands More than Forecast

July 22, 2013

July manufacturing in the region grew at its highest rate since March 2011, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The bank’s general economic index, which calculates manufacturing growth rates among companies in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware, increased to 19.8 (up from 12.5 in June and the highest reading since March 2011).  Readings of greater than zero indicate expansion.

This increase follows similar gains in the New York region, as reported by the New York Fed; together they suggest that manufacturing is rebounding after a sluggish first half of the year.

Additional good news includes shipment increases, rising order numbers, and a key hiring gauge, which moved into positive territory for the first time in four months.

This growth is far greater than that projected by Bloomberg following its survey of 57 economists (8.0), and the report points out that even the most optimistic economists surveyed did not anticipate such rapid growth; estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 2.0 to 17.5.

You can read the full report here.