Philly Fed manufacturing index blows past consensus in May

Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region unexpectedly surged in May, bolstering optimism over the health of the economy, official data showed on Thursday.

In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing indexjumped to 38.8 this month from April’s reading of 22.0. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 19.5.

That was the 10th consecutive month of growth, recovering some of the previous decline, but remaining below February’s high of 43.3.

On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, below indicates worsening conditions.

With regard to future activity in the sector, new orders deteriorated to 25.4, compared to the April’s reading of 27.4.

The employment index also decreased to 17.3 in May, compared to a prior reading of 19.9, indicating a slower pace of hiring.

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