"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Philadelphia Fed Survey

"I once spent a year in Philadelphia.  I think it was on a Sunday."
--W. C. Fields
The Philadelphia Fed Survey is a survey of business conditions in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve District, and is considered to be a bellwether of business conditions throughout the US.
Last month, that bellwether tolled in a General Business Conditions Index level of 43.4, the highest reading since January 1984.  Continuing their trend of pessimism regarding this index, however, the Econoday-surveyed analysts are expecting it to contract to a level of 36.0.  Are they right?  Let's turn to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve to find out.
The April 2011 Business Outlook Survey reveals that, if anything, the analysts weren't pessimistic enough.  The General Business Conditions Index dropped precipitously, coming in at 18.5.  So yeah, Philadelphia-area businesses suddenly aren't particularly optimistic about the current business climate.

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