Factory activity growth plummeted in the Mid-Atlantic region in June, a survey showed on Thursday, adding to worries that the short and tepid U.S. economic recovery is now fizzling.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index dropped to 8.0 in June from May's 21.4.
Economists had expected a reading of 20.9, based on the results of a Reuters poll, which ranged from 10.0 to 24.0.
Any reading above zero indicates expansion in the region's manufacturing, so the factory sector there is still clinging to growth.
The survey, which covers factories in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is seen as one of the first monthly indicators of the health of U.S. manufacturing leading up to the national report by the Institute for Supply Management, which is due next on July 1.
The Philadelphia Fed report follows a similar release on Monday that showed manufacturing growth in New York state increased slightly in June even as hiring slowed. This supported views the factory sector is recovering but the labor market remains in rough shape.
(Reporting by Burton Frierson; Editing by James Dalgleish)