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Economic Report: Philly Fed manufacturing index rebounds in March

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A casting operator, works on the factory floor at Quadrant, a high end plastic processor in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The numbers: The Philadelphia Fed business activity index rebounded in March to a seasonally adjusted reading of 13.7 from – 4.1 in the prior month.

Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 3 reading.

What happened: The survey’s component on new orders increased to 1.9 in March from -2.4 in the prior month, which was the lowest figure since May 2016. Shipping in the region also rebounded into positive territory to 20 from -5.3 in February. The survey’s employment barometer slipped to 9.6 in March from 14.5 in the prior month.

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