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Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, projection from Wall Street Journal; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing business outlook rose to near its highest level on record and notched its biggest reading above economists' expectations in history.

The big picture: Analysts at BMO Capital Markets note that the monthly reading is among the highest in history (in the 99th percentile) going back 30 years and marked the largest two-month jump since 1995.

Why it matters: The survey's results were taken in the immediate aftermath of the phase one U.S.-China trade deal, which bolstered expectations among many in the manufacturing industry.

  • The Fed's index is largely a gauge of sentiment, rather than hard numbers, and shows manufacturers are bullish on the deal.

Details: The future general activity diffusion index, which measures firms' expectations six months ahead, rose to 45.4 from 38.4 in the previous month. More than half the firms surveyed expected activity to rise over the next half year, and new orders almost doubled, rising to 33.6 from 18.2.

Yes, but: Following Wednesday's strong producer prices report, which showed the largest gain since October 2018, the Philly Fed survey provided more evidence of upward pressure on costs. Prices paid rose to 19.7 from 14.6.

  • If manufacturers continue to report higher prices paid, it's expected that consumer prices will also begin to rise.

One more thing: The index's employment component fell significantly to 9.8 from 19.3.

The intrigue: Despite the PPI report Wednesday and the Philly Fed reading Thursday showing serious potential for inflation to pick up, expectations for the Fed to cut rates by year-end remain near 90%, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

Go deeper: Fed manufacturing indexes jump in January

Go deeper

Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant following a meeting with his COVID-19 response team. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal court in Missouri has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally-funded facilities in 10 states.

Why it matters: Monday's decision is the first victory for opponents of the rule, which requires health care workers to get vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. The case is one of four lawsuits challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) rule and argues that the mandate will exacerbate staffing shortages.

Twitter's next act

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is exiting the company he helped build at a time when its future has never been so uncertain.

Why it matters: The person who controls Twitter controls the de facto public square — with implications for politics, media and free speech.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday strengthened its previous recommendation for booster shots, saying that everyone 18 and older "should" receive a booster dose.

Why it matters: Last month, CDC director Rochelle Walensky accepted a key advisory committee's recommendation that adults "may" get the shot. The slight, but strengthened, change in wording comes amid the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant.