By Xavier Fontdegloria


Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area continued to expand in October, albeit at a slower pace compared with the previous month amid severe shortages related to global supply-chain problems, according to a survey.

The index for current general activity compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia decreased to 23.8 in October from 30.7 in September.

The reading broadly matches economists expectations polled by The Wall Street Journal, who expected the indicator to come in at 24.5.

The survey polls manufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District--which covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware--about the direction of change in overall business activity at their plants. A reading above zero indicates expansion.

U.S. factory output rose in the last few months amid strong demand, but problems related to procuring components and raw materials are keeping a lid on production.

In October, more than 40% of firms in the Philly Fed's district reported increases in overall activity, while 17% reported decreases compared with the previous month.

Demand for goods in the region factories accelerated. The new orders index increased to 30.8 from 15.9 the previous month, while the shipments index remained broadly stable at 30.0.

The employment index edged up to 30.7 from 26.3 the previous month, the data showed.

The delivery times index rose to 32.2 from 20.4, signaling longer delivery times amid widespread supply shortages.

The indicators for prices paid and prices received remained elevated. The prices paid index rose to 70.3, while the prices received index edged down to 51.1. More than 58% of the firms reported increases in prices received for their own goods in October, the Philadelphia Fed said.

The survey's future indexes signal that respondents are optimistic regarding activity over the next six months.

The index for general activity rose to 24.2. However, the future new orders, employment and shipments indexes all declined compared with the levels registered the prior month.


Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 21, 2021 09:05 ET (13:05 GMT)

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