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Gold prices at session highs as Philly Fed Survey drops to -31.3 in April

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(Kitco News) - Recession fears in the U.S. are not abating as the Philadelphia Federal Reserve highlights further weakness in its region's manufacturing sector, with activity falling to a new three-year low.

Thursday, the regional central bank said its manufacturing business outlook fell more than expected to -31.3 in April, down from March's reading of -23.2. The data significantly missed expectations as economists looked for some improvement to -19.7.

The report noted that this is the eighth consecutive reading in negative territory as activity falls to its lowest level since May 2020, when the economy was crippled by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

While the gold market is not seeing a massive reaction to the latest disappointing economic data, prices are holding near session highs. June gold futures last traded at $2,022.50 an ounce, up 0.74% on the day.

Although the broad index fell deeper into negative territory, the report noted some improvement in the components of the survey. The New Orders Index rose to -22.7 in April, up from last month's reading of 28.2. At the same time, the Shipments Index rose to -7.3, up from 25.4.

The labor market in the region's manufacturing sector also improved, rising to 6.9, up from -10.3.

Weak activity is having a significant impact on inflation pressures, with the report highlighting a significant drop to 8.2, down from March's reading of 23.5.

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