Philly Fed: Business outlook shows ‘notable improvement’

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is out with a widely followed Business Outlook Survey for June.  The numbers are very good.

Declines in the region’s manufacturing sector were much less in evidence in June, according to results for this month’s Business Outlook Survey. Indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments showed notable improvement, suggesting recent declines have lessened dramatically. Indicative of ongoing weakness, however, firms reported sustained declines in employment and work hours this month. Most of the survey’s broad indicators of future activity showed continued improvement, suggesting that the region’s manufacturing executives are becoming more optimistic that a recovery in business will occur over the next six months.

Current Indicators Reflect Near Steady Levels of Activity

The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from -22.6 in May to -2.2 this month, its highest reading since September 2008 when the index was positive for one month (the index has been negative for 18 of the past 19 months, a span that corresponds to the current recession; see Chartt.gif).

Source June 2009 Business Outlook Surveyt.gif – Philadelphia Fed website

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Originally published at Credit Writedowns and reproduced here with the author’s permission.