NEW YORK, March 20 Factory activity in the U.S.
mid-Atlantic region expanded far more than expected in March, a
survey showed on Thursday.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business
activity index rose to 9.0 in March from -6.3 in February,
topping economists' expectations for 3.8, according to a Reuters
Any reading above zero indicates expansion in the region's
manufacturing. The survey covers factories in eastern
Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.
The new orders index rose to 5.7 from -5.2. The employment
component grew at a slower clip, however, coming in at 1.7, the
lowest since June, versus 4.8 last month.
Survey respondents' view on business conditions six months
ahead fell to 35.4 from 40.2.
The Philly Fed business index 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
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)