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May 15, 2014 10:10 AM, EDT
Manufacturing in Philadelphia Region Declines
Paul Taggart/Bloomberg News

Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region declined in May, the Federal Reserve Bank in that district said May 15.

The regional Fed’s index declined to a 15.4 reading from 16.6 in March. Readings above zero indicate expansion, and those below zero show contraction.

The reading was above economists’ median forecast of 14, Bloomberg News reported. New orders dropped to a reading of 10.5 from 14.8 the previous month.

Manufacturers in the Philadelphia Region are increasingly optimistic about the future with the outlook index for six months from now rising to 37.4 from 26.6 in April, Bloomberg reported.

The Philadelphia Fed surveys about 100 manufacturers for the index in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey.