From the Philly Fed: August 2016 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey
Firms responding to the Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest that growth was positive but tenuous this month. The diffusion index for current general activity moved from a negative reading to a marginally positive reading, while the indicators for new orders and employment suggested continued general weakness in business conditions.
The index for current manufacturing activity in the region rose 5 points to only 2.0 in August … The survey’s indicators of employment weakened considerably. The employment index fell 18 points to -20.0, which is its largest negative reading for the current year.
The survey’s index of future manufacturing activity rose 12 points to 45.8 in August, strongly indicating that the current weakness is expected to be temporary. This index is at its highest reading since January 2015
This was at the consensus forecast of a reading of 2.0 for August.
Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index. The yellow line is an average of the NY Fed (Empire State) and Philly Fed surveys through August. The ISM and total Fed surveys are through July.
The average of the Empire State and Philly Fed surveys was slightly negative again in August (yellow). This suggests the ISM survey will probably indicate sluggish expansion this month.