PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its key mid-Atlantic manufacturing index dropped sharply in November, falling back into a contraction.
The business survey, taken midway through the month, found the diffusion index of manufacturing activity lost 16 points to minus 10.7, falling below the break even level of zero, where it had been for six months.of the past seven months.
The component index for new orders lost four points to reach minus 4.6.
The index for employment, measuring the number of employees, rose from minus 10.7 to minus 6.8, a slight improvement, although the index has shown a contraction in employment for five consecutive months.
In the month, 32 percent of respondents to the Fed's survey indicated declining business activity in the first half of November, while 21 percent indicated business growth.