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Another Fed Factory Gauge Declines in Sign Growth Is Moderating

Companies in the region reported slower shipments this month, though new orders and employment picked up, and respondents remained relatively upbeat about the outlook..

Another Federal Reserve factory gauge fell this month, adding to signs the economy is cooling in the fourth quarter.

The Philadelphia Fed’s general business activity index, based on a survey of manufacturers in the region, dropped to 9.4 from 12.9, according to a report Thursday. That’s the lowest level since August 2016 and follows data earlier this week showing a gauge of factories in New York state declined to a 19-month low.

According to the Philadelphia Fed report, companies in the region reported slower shipments this month, though new orders and employment picked up, and respondents remained relatively upbeat about the outlook.

The central bank raised interest rates on Wednesday for the fourth time this year, yet Chairman Jerome Powell suggested he’ll be more cautious about increasing borrowing costs in 2019 amid moderating growth in the rest of the world and recent weakness in financial markets.

By Scott Lanman

TAGS: The Economy
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