The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reports that growth in that region’s manufacturing sector picked up in February, according to the respondents to the Business Outlook Survey. Most of the broad indicators showed an improvement over their readings in January, and employment among reporting firms increased. The diffusion index of current activity increased to 35.9 from 19.3 in January. This is the highest reading since January 2004. Since the beginning of the year, 57 percent of the responding firms indicated some increase in prices for their own goods, with the most frequently cited range of increase between 3 and 4 percent.