Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region slowed more than expected in December, matching its lowest level since June.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said its business activity index fell to 0.3 in December from 10.4 the month before. The most recent reading was below economists’ expectations of 8.0, 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.
December’s reading matched the level in June, which was the lowest since January when it fell to negative 4.1.
It 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.
The new orders component climbed to 9.4 in December from a month earlier reading of 8.4, while the prices paid subindex rose to 19.0 from 7.8 a month before.
The employment subindex fell to 17.8 from 21.5 a month earlier. (Writing by Dan Burns, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)