PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said the bank's mid-Atlantic manufacturing index showed strong gains in September, hitting a 30-month high.
The business index for the month rose from 9.3 to 22.3, with points calculated by finding the difference between the percentage of businesses reporting growth from the percentage reporting a contraction.
That is the highest reading since March 2011, the Fed said.
The Fed said the new orders index added 16 points to 21.2. The shipments index rebounded, climbing by 22 points from just under zero.
The survey, taken the first two weeks in August, found the index measuring the number of employees rose 7 points to 10.3.
The Fed said 21 percent of companies indicated they were hiring, while 10 percent indicated their payroll was contracting.
The survey results showed nearly 58.2 percent of respondents indicated they believed business would pick up in the next six months, the strongest response to that question since the end of the recession in 2009, the Fed reported.