A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed that manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region of the country cooled this month, as the general business conditions index fell from +27.6 to +19.5. That was the fourth decline in the past five months and worse than economists had expected, although still well above pre-election levels. Under the hood, current measures of new orders, shipments, inventories, total employment, and hours worked all deteriorated in July but forward-looking indicators (six months ahead) generally improved, including a jump in capital expenditure plans. Inflation pressures moderated this month but prices paid continued to rise faster than prices received, suggesting further strain on margins. Altogether, this was a mixed report, which is in line with other recent regional manufacturing data and confirms that business managers continue to eagerly await the tax cuts and regulatory reform promised by lawmakers.
Sources: Econoday, FRBPPost author: Charles Couch