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June 19, 2015

Factory activity in Philly and NE region faster than expected

Manufacturing Northeast
Martin Factory Paul Goodman/Creative Commons / Flickr

A luthier hard at work in the Martin & Co. guitar factory

Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region expanded in June at a much faster pace than expected, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index jumped to 15.2 from 6.7 the month before. The index came in at its highest level since December 2014, and was nearly double the analyst expectation for a reading of 8.0, according to a Reuters poll.

Any reading above zero indicates expansion in the region's manufacturing. The survey covers factories in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

It is seen as one of the first monthly indicators of the health of U.S. manufacturing, leading up to the national report by the Institute for Supply Management.

Nearly every component of the index rose from May. The reading on new orders rose to 15.2 in June from the May reading of 4.0, while the prices paid subindex surged to 17.2 from negative 14.2 in May.

On the downside, the employment index fell to 3.8 from 6.7.