WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index slowed slightly to a reading of 5.0 in March, below the 5.2 in February and the 8.0 forecast in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll. It is the lowest reading in the index since February 2014. Any reading above zero indicates expansion. The subcomponent for new orders fell to 3.9 from 5.4, while the shipments index sank sharply to negative 7.8 from 8.1. This is the second negative reading in the past three months. Employment slipped a bit to 3.5 from 3.9. The prices paid index moved into negative territory for the first time since the summer of 2009.
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