Last updateWed, 24 May 2017 2pm


Philly Fed Manufacturing Index Rises More Than Expected

Results from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s March Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand. The diffusion index for general activity fell from its high reading in February, but the survey’s other broad indicators for new orders, shipments, and employment all improved or were steady this month. Price pressures also picked up, according to reporting firms. The survey’s future indicators continued to improve and reflect a broadening base of optimism about future growth in manufacturing. 

Manufacturing in New York State Expands in March

Business activity continued to grow at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the March 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index edged down two points to 16.4. The new orders index climbed to 21.3, its highest level in several years, pointing to a substantial increase in orders. The shipments index moved down to 11.3, indicating that shipments increased at a slower pace. The unfilled orders index rose to 14.2, its highest level in more than a decade, and delivery times lengthened. Labor market conditions pointed to an increase in both employment and hours worked. Input prices and selling prices increased at a slower pace this month. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook, although generally somewhat lower, continued to convey a high degree of optimism about future conditions. 

Fed Raising Interest Rates After Positive Signs from U.S. Economy

Information received since the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met in February indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the FOMC decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 3/4 to 1%. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2% inflation. 

U.S. Machine Tool Orders Declined in January

U.S. manufacturing technology orders declined in January, dropping 40.7% compared to December and 11.4% compared to January 2016, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report from the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

“January’s slump was not unexpected as it was in line with analyst forecasts for a soft start to 2017. We continue to be on track for an upturn later in the spring,” said AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “Several large capital expansion projects have been announced in recent weeks, and the PMI was up for the sixth consecutive month. Our members report increased quotation activity and at the HOUSTEX show in early March, both attendees and visitors were upbeat.” 

Dow CEO Credits Chemical Sector for Manufacturing Boom

Dow Chemical chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris says that the shale boom “offered a ‘lease on life’ for the petrochemical sector to create new manufacturing in the U.S., and a broader manufacturing boom could continue under President Donald Trump,” FuelFix reports.

Liveris, who heads Trump's manufacturing jobs initiative, "said he supported the notion of a globalization ‘pause,’ but hopefully one that doesn’t last long. There’s a need to recalibrate and ensure that global growth doesn’t come at the expense of American workers.” 

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