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Economy in Brief
Texas Factory Sector Activity Remains Strong
The Dallas Fed indicated in its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey that the General Business Activity Index eased during March...
EMU Money and Credit Growth Are Less Than Impressive Than Euro-PMIs
EMU nominal money supply growth is slightly higher over three months, but credit growth in the EMU is slower...
Durable Goods Orders Strengthened by Another Jump in Aircraft
New orders for durable goods rose 1.7% (5.0% y/y) during February...
Correction to Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims
The Department of Labor has issued a correction to yesterday's annual revision to seasonally adjusted weekly unemployment claims...
EMU PMIs Are Off to the Races...Farewell Mediocrity?
The PMI rankings for the manufacturing and service sector PMIs in the EMU are suddenly off the chart...
U.S. New Home Sales Improve While Prices Decline
Sales of new single-family homes increased 6.1% (12.8% y/y) during February to 592,000 units (AR)...
by Tom Moeller December 20, 2016
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Nonmanufacturing Business Index of current conditions in December rose to 30.4 from 15.6 in November. It rebounded to the highest level since June 2015. Forty-seven percent of respondents reported an increase in current activity, a thirteen-month high. Despite the monthly rebound, the figure for all of last year fell sharply from 2015. The expectations index for December surged to 65.8, the highest level since August of last year. Expectations for regional activity also were greatly improved.
Virtually all of the index components improved. The new orders index jumped to the highest level since July with 41% of respondents reporting an increase. Sales/revenues similarly improved. On the employment front, the index of full-time permanent employees rose to the highest point since October or last year, while the index for part-time or temporary employment also strengthened. The average employee workweek rebounded to nearly the highest level since April, but wage & benefit costs rose just modestly. These costs have been trending sideways since 2011. Capital expenditures on physical plant strengthened along with the equipment & software reading. The index for prices paid increased m/m, but remained sharply below the Q2 and Q3 highs. The index of prices received fell sharply m/m.
The Philadelphia Fed figures are diffusion indexes which are calculated by subtracting the percent of respondents reporting poorer business conditions from those reporting improvement. So, readings above zero indicate more positive than negative responses. These indexes have a good correlation with growth in the series covered. The data are available in Haver's SURVEYS database.
|Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: Nonmanufacturing Business Outlook Survey (Diffusion Index, SA)||Dec||Nov||Oct||Dec'15||2016||2015||2014|
|General Activity - Company||30.4||15.6||16.3||24.8||19.7||31.4||38.8|
|Sales or Revenue||23.5||17.2||6.0||24.0||16.1||23.6||30.2|
|Number of Full-Time Permanent Employees||19.7||14.3||8.5||15.7||11.7||15.6||17.3|
|Expected General Activity - Company||65.8||40.4||40.4||56.6||43.1||54.0||60.1|