NEW YORK Nov 15 Factory activity in the U.S.
mid-Atlantic region unexpectedly shrank in November due to
disruption from superstorm Sandy, which slammed the U.S.
Northeast in late October, a survey said on Thursday.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business
activity index slumped to -10.7 from 5.7 the month before. The
fall was much steeper than economists' expectations for a slip
to 2.0, according to a Reuters poll.
Any reading below zero indicates contraction in the region's
manufacturing. The survey covers factories in eastern
Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.
It is seen as one of the first monthly indicators of the
health of U.S. manufacturing leading up to the national report
by the Institute for Supply Management.
The new orders sub-index fell to -4.6 from -0.6, although
the employment gauge ticked up somewhat but was still
contractionary, coming in at -6.8 from -10.7.
Survey respondents' view on the coming months fell slightly,
with the gauge of business conditions for the next six months
edging down to 20.0 from 21.6.