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Factory Activity in Mid-Atlantic Surges to Two-Year High

by Mike Meiresonne

Factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region rose in September to the highest level since June 2007, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index was at 14.1 in September versus 4.2 in August.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a reading of 8.0.

“Basically it continues the process of better economic numbers,” said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors. “You’re going to continue to see better data, but that’s also going to be offset by some weaker-than-expected numbers.”

Despite the increase, new orders fell to 3.3 from 4.2 while employment fell by 1.4 points.

The survey covers factories in a region encompassing eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. Any reading above zero indicates expansion in the region’s manufacturing sector.

The latest positive news on the economy follows earlier reports that US housing starts rose in August to their highest level in nine months and the number of people filing of unemployment benefits fell last week.

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