"The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased from a reading of -4.1 in February to 13.7 this month," the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported in its March 2019 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey.

Key takeaways from the press release

  • The current new orders index improved modestly, increasing from -2.4 in February to 1.9 in March.
  • The current shipments index increased 25 points to 20.0.
  • The current employment index, however, decreased from a reading of 14.5 in February to 9.6 this month.
  • The prices paid index decreased 2 points to 19.7. The prices paid index declined for the eighth consecutive month and is at its lowest reading since July 2017.