June 20, 2019 / 1:16 PM / a month ago

Philly Fed's U.S. Mid-Atlantic business index hit four-month low

(Reuters) - The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said on Thursday its gauge on business activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region declined to its lowest level since February, amid trade tensions between the United States and its trading partners.

The regional central bank’s index fell to 0.3 in June from 16.6 in May. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a reading of 11.0 this month.

A figure above zero suggests the region’s business activity is growing.

The weaker-than-expected Philadelphia Fed survey is the second regional central bank report this week, suggesting trade conflicts are taking a toll on U.S. businesses.

On Monday, the New York Federal Reserve said its gauge of business growth in New York state posted a record fall in June to its weakest level in more than 2-1/2 years.

The June Philadelphia Fed report showed a broad deceleration in business activities from May.

“The survey’s indexes for new orders, shipments, and employment remained positive but also declined from their May readings,” the regional Fed said in the report. “Most of the survey’s future activity indexes improved but continue to reflect muted optimism for the remainder of the year.”

The regional Fed’s barometer on new orders fell to 8.3 from 11.0, while its employment gauge slipped to 15.4 from 18.2.

The measure on six-month business outlook, on the other hand, rose to 21.4 from 19.7.

Reporting By Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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