The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank released its manufacturing index on Thursday. The index climbed to 12.4 in March from -2.8 in February, exceeding expectations for an increase to -1.7.
A reading above zero indicates expansion, while a reading below zero indicates contraction.
"Firms responding to the Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey reported an improvement in business conditions this month. The indicator for general activity rose sharply in March to its first positive reading in seven months," the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said in its survey.
The shipments index climbed to 22.1 in March from 2.5 in February.
The new orders index increased to 15.7 in March from -5.3 in February.
The prices paid index rose to -0.9% in March from -2.2 in February, while the prices received index rose to 3.5 from -4.5.
The number of employees index was up to 1.1 in March from -5.0 in February.
According to the report, the future general activity index jumped to 28.8 in March from 17.3 in February.