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NEW YORK Aug 21 Factory activity in the U.S.
mid-Atlantic region expanded in August to its highest level
since March 2011, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business
activity index rose to 28.0 from 23.9 the month before. That
topped economists' expectations for a reading of 19.2,
according to a Reuters poll.
Any reading above zero indicates expansion 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.
Expectations of future activity were also strong, with the
six-month conditions index rising to its highest since June
The other details of the report, however, were not as
New orders dropped to 14.7, from 34.2 last month, while the
employment index fell to 9.1 from 12.2. But the percentage of
firms reporting increases in employment exceeded companies that
are cutting jobs, which is a positive sign. The workweek index
was also positive for a sixth consecutive month.
"Overall, while the headline was strong, the sub-indexes were
softer, and therefore the market's response has been somewhat
muted," said Ian Lyngen, senior government bond analyst at CRt
Capital in Stamford, Connecticut.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Meredith
Mazzilli and Chizu Nomiyama)