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Saturday, August 17, 2019
HomeNewsEconomyManufacturing Business Outlook Survey Gains Again in April

Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey Gains Again in April

A manufacturing assembly line at the Heinz factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Courtesy of Heinz)
A manufacturing assembly line at the Heinz factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Courtesy of Heinz)

A manufacturing assembly line at the Heinz factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Courtesy of Heinz)

The Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey, a regional gauge of factory activity by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, rose to 23.2 in April. That’s up from 22.3 in March and the two most fundamental readings — new orders and backlogs — continued to post strong readings.

Nearly 37% of the manufacturers saw increases in overall activity this month, while just 14% reported decreases. The indexes for current new orders and shipments actually fell 17 points and 9 points, respectively, but remain very strong.

Manufacturing firms also continued to report increases in employment.

More than 31% saw increases in employment, while 4% reported decreases in April. The current employment index ticked up 2 points to 27.1, the highest reading in 6 months. The firms also reported a longer average workweek this month, with the current average workweek index increasing by 9 points.

Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey for April, 2018. (Source: Philadelphia Federal Reserve)

Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey for April, 2018. (Source: Philadelphia Federal Reserve)

The diffusion index for future general activity fell from 47.9 in March to 40.7, though firms still remain optimistic.

Nearly 50% of the firms expect factory activity to increase over the next 6 months, while 9% anticipated decreases. The future new orders index fell 12 points, while the future shipments index rose 5 points.

A little more than 68% of the firms expect price increases for purchased inputs over the next 6 months, and 50% expect higher prices for their own manufactured goods. Nearly 42% of the firms expect to add workers over the next 6 months.

However, even though the future employment index fell 3 points, it remains at a high reading of 34.6.

Written by
Staff Writing Group

PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.

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