Philadelphia-Area Factory Activity Rebounds

Factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region unexpectedly expanded in October to its highest level in six months, rebounding from a weak reading the month before, a Federal Reserve survey showed Thursday.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index jumped to 8.7 from minus 17.5 the month before.

That far exceeded economists' expectations for minus 9.0, according to a Reuters poll, and was the highest since April 2011.

Any reading above zero indicates expansion 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.