This indicator is a survey of about 250 manufacturers in the Philadelphia region and they are being asked to respond questions relative to the general level of business conditions: hiring, employment level, prices, new orders, etc. Based on their responses, an indicator is calculated and the result is compared with the zero level: values higher than zero indicate improving conditions, while values lower than zero indicate deteriorating conditions.
It is released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and it is important as it is viewed like a benchmark for the whole manufacturing sector in the United States, exactly like it was the case with the Empire State Manufacturing Index, but this time for the New York area.
The six months data we are analyzing under this project shows clear improvement in general conditions as the last two month readings were clearly above the 0 level, going as high as to the 20 level, which shows strong pickup in the manufacturing sector.
The most important things to take into consideration when looking at the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index are the following:
- release date: monthly, around the middle of the current month;
- release time: 14:00 GMT during the North American trading session;
- first tier indicator;
- high volatility if actual very different than forecast.