Philadelphia manufacturing data could portend of future pain  The U.S. manufacturing sector has served as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise murky economic climate. However, new data indicates the nation's manufacturing companies could be witnessing depressed demand.

According to a report from The New York Times, economists are growing increasingly concerned the country is slipping back into a recession after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported this week its monthly business outlook survey of manufacturers in its region hit post-recessionary lows.

The Philadelphia Fed found only 14.7 percent of its region's manufacturers believed business was improving in its latest iteration of the survey. More than 45 percent of companies surveyed said conditions were worsening, illustrating the growing sense of unease among manufacturers.

The Philadelphia Manufacturing Index fell precipitously as a result of the overwhelmingly negative responses, dipping to minus 30.7. That figure is markedly lower than the positive 3.2 score the index hit in July.

Since the index was introduced in 1968, there has been a recession every time it has dropped below minus 30, according to The Times.
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