Factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic contracted in July, home sales fell in June, initial jobless claims grew last week, and leading economic indicators fell more than expected in June, in a four-pronged release of bad economic news Thursday.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve announced its business activity index recorded a score of minus 12.9 in July. While the score is an improvement on the minus 16.6 in June, economists had predicted minus 8.0; a negative score indicates contraction.
The Philadelphia Fed index is considered a measure of factory growth in the Mid-Atlantic.
“The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s business activity index suggested business conditions were weaker again this month,” said Michael Trebing, a Philadelphia Reserve economic analyst in a statement to Reuters. “The broadest activity measure remained negative. New orders and shipments also remained negative, though they rebounded from lows. Average work hours were lower.”
Existing home sales declined 5.4 percent from a month earlier, for the weakest sales report since October 2011. While median prices are up, the National Association of Realtors attributed that to a smaller portion of total sales coming from foreclosed properties.
Initial jobless claims increased by 34,000 last week to 386,000–the largest increase since April 2011.
An index of leading economic indicators also fell 0.3 percent in May–worse than the expected 0.1 percent drop–indicating slower economic growth, according to Reuters.
The bad news comes on the heels of lowered growth projections by the International Monetary Fund and JPMorgan, released earlier this week.