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Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index climbs in December

Manufacturing activity in the three-state mid-Atlantic region continued to grow amid a reported decline in the current employment index for December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey.

The diffusion index for current general activity, the survey's broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, rose to 26.2 in December, up from a reading of 22.7 in November.

Both the new orders and shipment indexes showed moderate growth, posting increases of 8 points to 29.8 and 2 points to 23.4, respectively, this month.

The current employment index fell 5 points to 18.1, the bank's survey showed, but remained in positive territory for the 13th straight month. The number of firms reporting increases in employment was greater than firms reporting decreases this month.

The bank's survey covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.