Home Economy Philadelphia Fed factory gauge slides again from 33-year high, but remains elevated

Philadelphia Fed factory gauge slides again from 33-year high, but remains elevated

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         Philadelphia Fed factory gauge slides again from 33-year high, but remains elevated

The manufacturing index from the Philadelphia Fed slid in April, but from high levels, suggesting slower growth in the factory sector after a postelection surge.

The index fell to 22.0 from 32.8. It had hit a 33-year high of 43.3 in February and has receded every month since then. In a diffusion index, any reading over zero signals growth, and the regional bank called April’s reading “relatively high.”

The median forecast among economists surveyed by Econoday was for a 25.5 reading.

In April, the new orders reading slipped to 27.4 from 38.6, signaling future activity. The shipments gauge, which tracks current activity, was also slightly down, touching 23.4 after a 32.9 reading in March.

Two gauges of employment were stronger. The gauge of number of employees rose to 19.9 from 17.5, and the average workweek subindex was 18.9 after 18.5.

Manufacturing has lost momentum in recent weeks. The Federal Reserve’s data on industrial production, out earlier this week, showed that output declined 0.4% in March.

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