The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank released its manufacturing index on Thursday. The index declined to 5.0 in March from 5. 2 in February, missing expectations for a rise to 7.3. That was the lowest reading since February 2014.
The index fell the fourth consecutive month.
A reading above zero indicates expansion.
The decline was driven by a slowdown in new order growth, decrease in unfilled orders and the average workweek for employees, and lower inventories and shipments.
Shipments index declined to -7.8 in March from 8.1 in February.
The unfilled orders index dropped to -13.8 in March from 7.3 in February, while the new orders index plunged to 3.9 from 5.4.
The number of employees index was up to 3.5 in March from 3.9 last month.
The prices paid index fell to -3.0 in March from 4.7 in February, while the prices received index plunged to -6.4 from -0.2.
The diffusion index for future activity rose to 32.0 in March from 29.7 in February.
According to the report, the indicators of future activity continue to show that the manufacturing sector is expected to continue growing over the next six months.