|General Business Conditions Index - Level||3.5||-0.5 to 6.0||3.86||-1.98|
The manufacturing sector isn't picking up any steam this month based on the Empire State index which came in only just above zero, at 3.86. The new orders index, ominously, is in negative ground at minus 3.50. This is the fourth negative reading in five months for new orders which points squarely at slowing overall activity in the months ahead.
And hiring this month has slowed, to 3.19 vs June's 8.65 in yet another soft signal. Price data show moderation for inputs at 7.45 vs 9.62. One plus in the report is a slight uptick in the 6-month outlook to 27.04 vs 25.84.
Hit by weak exports, the manufacturing sector is dragging down U.S. growth. Watch Thursday for the Philly Fed report for July which, in what may prove to be an outlier, showed surprising strength in June.
Market Consensus Before Announcement
The Empire State index has been dead flat the last several months, pointing to no growth whatsoever for the New York state manufacturing sector. And not much growth is expected in June with the Econoday consensus at a very soft plus 3.5.
The New York Fed conducts this monthly survey of manufacturers in New York State. Participants from across the state represent a variety of industries. On the first of each month, the same pool of roughly 175 manufacturing executives (usually the CEO or the president) is sent a questionnaire to report the change in an assortment of indicators from the previous month. Respondents also give their views about the likely direction of these same indicators six months ahead.
Investors track economic data like the Empire State Manufacturing Survey to understand the economic backdrop for the various markets. The stock market likes to see healthy economic growth because that translates to higher corporate profits. The bond market prefers a moderate growth environment that won't generate inflationary pressures. The Empire Manufacturing Survey gives a detailed look at New York state's manufacturing sector, how busy it is and where things are headed. Since manufacturing is a major sector of the economy, this report has a big influence on the markets. Some of the Empire State Survey sub-indexes also provide insight on commodity prices and other clues on inflation. The Federal Reserve closely watches this report because when inflation signals are flashing, policymakers can reset the direction of interest rates. As a consequence, the bond market can be highly sensitive to this report. The equity market is also sensitive to this report because it is the first clue on the nation's manufacturing sector, reported in advance of the Philadelphia Fed's business outlook survey.
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