Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region shrank in August for the fourth month in a row, though the pace of contraction eased, a survey showed on Thursday.
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The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index rose to minus 7.1 from minus 12.9 in July, shy of economists' expectations for minus 5.
Forward-looking new orders edged up to minus 5.5 from minus 6.9. Any reading below zero indicates contraction in the region's manufacturing. The survey covers factories in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.
It is seen as one of the first monthly indicators of the health of U.S. manufacturing leading up to the national report by the Institute for Supply Management, which also showed the sector shrank in June and July.