The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing gauge tumbled this month, bolstering the Fed’s case for easier monetary policy.
The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index fell to 0.3 in June from 16.6 in May. That was the index’s lowest read since February, when it hit zero. The print also came in well below a Dow Jones estimate of 9.3.
Lower prices contributed to the index’s sharp drop, the Philadelphia Fed said. Its current prices received index, which reflects manufacturers’ own prices, plunged by 17 points to 0.6, its lowest level since October 2016.
Manufacturers “suggest weaker regional manufacturing conditions compared with last month,” regional central bank said, noting that new orders, shipments and employment also fell this month.
The Philadelphia Fed’s data comes after the U.S. central bank opened the door to easier monetary policy in the near future. This led investors to price in a 100% probability of lower interest rates in July.