U.S. regional manufacturing continues to grow in January: survey

By Gao Lu

HOUSTON, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday reported that regional manufacturing activity continued to grow in January.

According to the January Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey, the current indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments increased notably this month and remained positive for the eighth consecutive month. The survey's future indexes remained at high readings and continue to indicate that firms expect growth over the next six months.

The diffusion index for current activity increased from a revised reading of 9.1 in December to 26.5 in January.

The percentage of firms reporting increases this month exceeded the percentage reporting decreases.

The index for new orders increased to its highest reading in three months. The current shipments index increased 11 points to 22.7 in January.

The survey showed that the current employment index has remained positive for seven consecutive months and increased 17 points to 22.5 in January. Employment increases were reported by 33 percent of the firms, while 10 percent reported decreases.

This month's survey suggested continued expansion for the region's manufacturing sector in January. Changes in future indexes were mixed this month, but levels remained positive, suggesting that overall growth is expected to continue over the next six months.

The Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey is a monthly survey of manufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors based in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System.

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