Following the essentially in line NY manufacturing survey, the Mar Philly manufacturing # was also about in line at 18.9 vs expectations of 18 and up from 17.6 in Feb. The components were mixed though. New Orders fell to 9.3 from 22.7 but follows a 3.2 reading in Jan. Inventories went negative again to -11 from +3.2 in Feb and is below zero for the 29th out of the last 30 months. The positive was the Employment component which rose 1 pt to 8.4 and is at the highest since Aug ’07. Backlogs rose 2.6 pts but were still below zero. Prices Paid rose 6.2 pts to the highest since Aug ’08 but mfr’s had trouble passing it on as Prices Received fell to -.4 from +3.7, the lowest since Nov. The overall 6 month manufacturing outlook in this region to rise to 52 from 35.8 and is at the highest since June. Bottom line, manufacturing continues to be a place of optimism as this index is now above zero for a 7th straight month due to both slowing inventory destocking and export growth.
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