Philly Fed Posts Modest Increase, Average Hours Worked Tumble
Ignore corporate margins tumbling to a three year low: the Philly Fed is here to kiss and make it all better, after surging from -12.5 to +2.0 , beating expectations of a -3 headline print. This was driven by a bounce in New Orders from -7.8 to +0.5, Inventories up from -10.0 to 0.0, and number of employees rising from 0.9 to 2.7. Curiously, the average employee workweek plunged from -1.6 to -12.9, but who needs to actually put in hours when one has a part-time job. Alas, if today's Philly Fed, which printed at levels seen last in 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009, was supposed to push the market higher, it has failed, as economic data is so "pre-QE" - now all that matters is if a central bank will inject a few trillion into the "market", and if yet another sovereign bankruptcy can be prevented at a time when the DJIA has never been higher.
Summarizing the results:
From the report:
Indicators Suggest Increased Activity
The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from a reading of -12.5 in February to 2.0 this month (see Chart). The demand for manufactured goods also showed improvement this month: The new orders index increased from a reading of -7.8 in February to 0.5, its first positive reading in three months. The shipments index showed continued improvement: The index remained positive and edged higher to 3.5. The percentage of firms reporting increased shipments (25 percent) was still only slightly greater than the percentage reporting declines (22 percent).
Labor market conditions showed continued signs of stability, but little overall growth. The employment index increased from 0.9 in February to 2.7 this month, its second consecutive positive reading. The percentage of firms reporting employment increases (17 percent) narrowly exceeded the percentage reporting decreases (14 percent). Firms also reported a decline of average work hours this month. The workweek index declined 11 points.
Indexes Indicate Little Price Pressure
The survey’s price indexes suggest little price pressures again this month. For the third consecutive month, the prices received index was slightly negative. The percentage of firms reporting lower prices for their own manufactured goods (9 percent) exceeded by a slim margin the percentage reporting higher prices (8 percent). With regard to purchased inputs, 17 percent of firms reported paying higher prices for inputs, compared with 13 percent last month. The prices paid index edged slightly lower and is now at its lowest reading in nine months.
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