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Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index falls more than expected in December

General business activity in the Third Federal Reserve District's manufacturing sector slowed more than expected in December following a rebound registered in the previous month, the latest survey data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed.

The index for current manufacturing activity declined to 0.3 this month after rising to 10.4 in November, according to the Philadelphia Fed's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey.

The consensus estimate from economists polled by Econoday was for an index reading of 8.5 in December.

The index for current new orders rose month over month to 9.4 from 8.4, and the shipments index advanced to 15.9 from 9.8.

Unfilled orders rose to an index reading of 10.4 from 6.0, but the employment index declined to 17.8 from 21.5.

The diffusion index for future general activity decreased to 35.2 from 35.8, with 42.7% of those surveyed expecting a rise in business activity over the next six months and 7.5% expecting a decline.

The Third Federal Reserve District covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and all of Delaware.