(Reuters) - The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said on Thursday its barometer on business activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region jumped to its strongest level in a year in July amid ongoing trade disputes between the United States and its trading partners.
The regional central bank’s index rose to 21.8, the highest level since July 2018. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a reading of 5.0 this month.
Last month, the index had fallen to 0.3 which was the lowest since February.
A figure above zero suggests the region’s business activity is growing.
“Manufacturing conditions in the region showed improvement this month,” the Philadelphia Fed said of the July figures.
This was the second regional Fed survey this week that showed a recovery in business sentiment from a sharp deterioration in June. On Monday, the New York Fed said its gauge on manufacturing growth in New York recorded its largest gain in more than two years in July.
The Philadelphia Fed’s July data showed broad improvement including sizable increases in new orders and employment.
The survey’s new orders measure rose to 18.9, the highest since January from 8.3 the prior month.
The employment gauge jumped to 30.0, the strongest level since October 2017. It was 15.4 the month before, while the average workweek index increased to 23.0 in July, the highest reading in 14 months, Philadelphia Fed said.
The regional Fed’s six-month business conditions barometer increased to 38.0, the highest since May 2018, from 21.4 in June.
“The survey’s future indexes indicate that respondents continue to expect growth over the next six months,” Philadelphia Fed said.
Reporting By Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama