Economic Report: Philly Fed manufacturing index rises to better-than-expected 34.4 in May

A tanker truck sits on the lot of Sunoco Inc’s Philadelphia refinery.

The numbers: The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index jumped to 34.4 in May from 23.3 in April, the regional district of the central bank said Thursday. That was well above the economist consensus for a reading of 21.

Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions.

What happened: Readings for new orders soared in May, rising to 40.6 from 18.4. The shipments index inched up to 25.8 from 23.9 in April.

Big picture: The Empire State factory index, released Tuesday, rose 4.3 points to 20.1. The strength in the two surveys may support hopes of a turnaround in the national Institute for Supply Management factory survey due in two weeks.

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