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Philly Fed business index lowest in a year in Feb

[NEW YORK] Growth in factory activity in the US mid-Atlantic region decelerated in February to its slowest level in a year, a regional Federal Reserve survey showed on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index fell to 5.2, the lowest since February 2014, from January's 6.3. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast an increase to 9.3, according to a Reuters poll.

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

It is seen as one of the first monthly indicators of the health of US manufacturing leading up to the national report by the Institute for Supply Management.

In November, the Philadelphia Fed gauge reached 40.2, which was highest reading since December 1993.


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