After reporting an unexpected expansion in Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity in the previous month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released a report on Thursday showing a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in the month of July.
The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current general activity dipped to 24.1 in July after skyrocketing to 27.5 in June, although a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to pull back to 20.0 percent.
The modest pullback by the headline index came as the shipments index slumped to 15.3 in July after spiking to 25.3 in June.
Meanwhile, the report said the new orders index climbed to 23.0 in July from 16.7 in June, pointing to an acceleration in the pace of growth in new orders.
The number of employees index also surged up to a positive 20.1 in July from a negative 4.3 in June, indicating job growth for the first time since March.
The report said the prices paid index also rose to 15.7 in July from 11.1 in June, while the prices received index inched up to 11.5 from 11.0.
Looking ahead, the diffusion index for future general activity plunged to 36.0 in July after soaring to 66.3 in June.
The indexes for future new orders and shipments also declined, although the Philly Fed noted the indexes remained elevated, suggesting that the firms expect overall growth over the next six months.
On Wednesday, the New York Fed released a separate report showing New York manufacturing activity expanded in July following four consecutive months of contraction
The New York Fed said its general business conditions soared to a positive 17.2 in July from a negative 0.2 in June. Economists had expected the index to jump to 10.0.
The index returned to positive territory for the first time since February and reached its highest level since November of 2018.