Manufacturing activity on the east coast of the United States is kicking into much higher gear, data from a survey tracking the sector showed Thursday.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s business index jumped nearly 20 points to 36.7 in February, one of the highest readings in more than a decade. This was the second consecutive month of better-than-expected results for the survey, blowing past economist expectations for a reading of 12.
Two days earlier, the New York Fed reported that its index of manufacturing businesses also showed much better than expected strength. Taken together, the survey’s suggest a rebound for the broader manufacturing sector, which has been contracting or nearly so since the summer. Back in December, the Philly Fed survey produced a reading of just 2.4
The survey’s gauge of new orders jumped to its highest reading since May 2018. Companies also reported expansion in employment and shipments.
The outlook remained very positive, indicating that growth is expected over the next six months.