In January of each year, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia revises historical data for the Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey after calculating new seasonal adjustment factors. Because survey responses are characterized by seasonal patterns, new seasonal factors are calculated annually based on the addition of a complete year of data.
This year's revisions altered levels of the indexes for certain months but smoothed the pattern of month-to-month change. The current general activity index was revised upward over the first five months of the year and revised down from June through August (Summary of 2015 revisions only (46 KB)). For the last three months, the index was revised down. The revised general activity index was negative for the final four months of the year, and the previously reported positive reading in November was revised down, from 1.9 to -5.7.
For December 2015, the current activity index was revised downward to -10.2 from the previously reported reading of -5.9. The six-month future activity index was revised upward to 24.1 from the previously reported reading of 23.0.
Seasonal adjustments were based on the U.S. Census Bureau's Census X-12 program, and seasonal factors for the 12 months of 2016 are being projected using the X-12 ARIMA method.
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