Manufacturing activity picked up in September with general activity, new orders, shipments and employment all improving over August's numbers in this month's Business Outlook Survey, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
The survey of companies in Delaware, southern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania — including the midstate — showed that broad economic activity in its diffusion index shot up by 13 points, the highest reading since March 2011, according to the fed. And 36 percent of companies reported increased activity.
The new orders index, a measure of demand for manufactured goods, increased by 16 points, according to the fed. Fifty-six percent of companies said they expect their third-quarter production to grow, but most said they would be at less than 6 percent while 44 percent said fourth quarter grow would be faster than third quarter.
Additionally, 21 percent of companies said they hired more people since August and 37 percent said they plan to increase employment over the next six months.