Xstreet.com (Barcelona) - Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region weakened sharply in January as general activity and new orders decreased sharply from the previous month, according to the survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The current activity index fell sharply from revised -1.6 in December to -20.9 in January, the lowest reading since October 2001. But that was not the unique index to post losses, demand for manufacturing goods fell to -15.2 from 12.0 in December, below 0 for the first time in 12 months.

The current shipments index decreased from 15.0 to -2.3 in January. The current employment index dropped to -1.5 in January from 3.8 in December, and the average workweek fell to -16.1 in January from 7.3 in December.