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U.S. Philly Fed manufacturing index improves sharply, deficit down

Staff Writer |
Conditions in the US manufacturing sector in the mid-Atlantic region improved sharply in December.

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The Federal Reserve bank of Philadelphia's manufacturing sector index rose from 7.6 for November to 21.5.

However, the widely-tracked gauge of new orders declined from 18.6 to 13.9, while that linked to the prices paid by companies rose from 27.5 to 29.4.

A sub-index referencing the number of employees at firms improved from -2.6 to 6.4 while another which measures the length of the average workweek rose from 7.4 to 9.8.

The U.S. current account deficit continued to decline during the third quarter of the year thanks mainly to a lower shortfall in the country's trade in goods.

America's current account deficit fell from $118.3bn over the three months to September, which was equivalent to 2.6% of gross domestic product, to $113.0bn or 2.4% of GDP, according to the Department of Commerce.

A narrower deficit in the balance of trade in goods, which fell by $9.0bn to $177.7bn, was the main contributor to the improved reading.

The primary income balance slipped from $44.2bn to $43.4bn while that on the secondary income balance slipped from -$37.7bn to -$39.0bn.

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