According to the Philly Fed’s monthly survey, the region’s manufacturing sector continues to expand at a fast pace. The current activity index increased for the fifth time in six months, climbing from -5.6 in August to +35.9 this month, the best reading since January 2004. The new orders index was little changed at 23.7 in February. The shipments index rose for the fifth straight month, jumping 21.8 points in February. The employment index increased for the second straight month from 4.3 to 23.5, the highest since April 1973. The ISM composite index is highly correlated with the 3-ma in the Philly Fed current activity index, which suggests robust manufacturing activity at the national level. We update these charts regularly for subscribers in US Business Surveys.