Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: Activity Expanded in February

The Philly Fed's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey is a monthly survey of about 250 manufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District, which covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Participants of the survey indicate the relative level of general business conditions in the region. Since this is a diffusion index, negative readings indicate contraction, positive ones indicate expansion. While it focuses exclusively on business in this district, this regional survey gives a reliable direction of the broader Chicago Fed's National Activity Index.

The latest Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index jumped into positive territory for the first time in six months, indicating overall expansion. In February, the index rose to 5.2 from -10.6 in January, coming in above the forecast of -8.0.