Philly Fed factory activity growth slows in May

A machinist operates a lathe at the Windle Mechanical Solutions manufacturing facility in Philadelphia.
Paul Taggart | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region grew in May at a faster pace than expected, though it decelerated from the previous month, a survey showed on Thursday.

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The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index fell to 15.4 from 16.6 the month before. That topped economists' expectations for 14.0, 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.

New orders fell to 10.5 from 14.8 and an employment component improved to 7.8 from 6.9.

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Survey respondents' view on the coming months perked up with the gauge of business conditions for the next six months rising to 37.4 from 26.6.

The Philly Fed survey 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.

By Reuters