A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday showed manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area grew at a slightly slower rate in the month of October.
The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current general activity edged down to 22.2 in October from 22.9 in September, although a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. The index had been expected to drop to 20.0.
The modest decrease by the headline index was partly due to a slowdown in new orders growth, with the new orders index slipping to 19.3 in October from 21.4 in September.
Meanwhile, the report said the shipments index jumped to 24.5 in October from 19.6 in September, pointing to a notable acceleration in the pace of shipments growth.
The number of employees index also rose to 19.5 in October from 17.6 in September, indicating a faster rate of job growth.
On the inflation front, the prices paid index dipped to 38.2 in October from 39.6 in September, while the prices received index climbed to 24.1 from 19.6.
The Philly Fed said expectations for the next six months remained optimistic, although the diffusion index for future general activity dropped to 33.8 in October from 36.3 in September.
On Monday, the New York Fed released a separate report showing the pace of growth in New York manufacturing activity accelerated by more than anticipated in October.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index rose to 21.1 in October from 19.0 in September, while economists had expected the index to inch up to 20.0.