Philadelphia-area manufacturers reported their most upbeat conditions in more than two years in July, in a reading that shows U.S. firms may be expanding in the second half despite headwinds from overseas and rising interest rates at home.
The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing survey in July surged to 19.8 from 12.5 in June, marking the highest level since March 2011, the regional bank said Thursday.
Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 10 reading.
U.S. stocks reacted positively to the data, with the S&P 500 SPX +0.50% at a record high.Read more coverage in Market Snapshot.
The shipments index rose to 14.3 in July from 4.1, though the new orders index softened to 10.2 from 16.6.
There was a big drawdown in inventories, as that index slumped to -21.6 from -6.6 in June. That could signal unexpected demand.
The employment index meanwhile climbed to 7.7 from negative 5.4, marking the first positive showing in four months, suggesting “employers are hiring additional workers to replace the inventory drawdown,” according to Gennadiy Goldberg of TD Securities.
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