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Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index grows in February

Manufacturing activity in the three-state mid-Atlantic region picked up in February after falling to a five-month low last month as indexes for general activity, new orders and employment posted increases, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey showed.

The diffusion index for current manufacturing activity rose four points to a reading of 25.8 for the month from 22.2 in January. The index has stayed within a relatively narrow range over the past nine months, according to the survey.

The current new orders index, which measures the demand for manufactured goods, climbed 14 points to 24.5, from 10.1 points in January.

Current employment index jumped 8 points to 25.2 from 16.8 points in January as over 30% of the firms reported increases in employment.

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