Manufacturing activity in Philadelphia slumps
Report also shows that the outlook for manufacturing in the region is bleak.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A key survey of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area found that conditions worsened this month and that the outlook for the sector is deteriorating.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Business Outlook Survey index fell to -24.0 from -20.9 in January, when the index reached it's lowest point in six years.
The bank's future general activity index, which survey's manufacturer's outlook for growth over the next six months, declined to -16.9 from 5.2 in January, its lowest reading since 1990.
The outlook for employment in the sector also declined. For the first time since 2001, the bank's future employment index fell below zero, slipping to -8.8 in February.
The Philadelphia Fed survey is often seen as a barometer of the U.S. manufacturing industry and a precursor to the national report from the Institute for Supply Management, which will be released March 3.