US: Empire State Mfg Survey

Thu Oct 15 07:30:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous
General Business Conditions Index - Level -7.00 -10.00 to -5.00 -11.36 -14.67

Minus signs sweep the Empire State report with the headline at minus 11.36 which is more than 1 point below Econoday's low end estimate. Looking at individual readings, new orders are in very deep trouble at minus 18.92 for a fifth straight month of contraction. And manufacturers in the region are not going to be able to turn to unfilled orders to keep busy with this reading extending a long string of contraction at minus 15.09 in September.

Lack of orders is showing up in shipments, which are at minus 13.61 for a third straight contraction, and in employment which is in a second month of contraction at minus 8.49. The workweek is down and delivery times are shortening, both consistent with weakening conditions. Price data show a second month of contraction for finished goods, which is another negative signal, and a narrowing and only marginal rise for prices of raw materials.

This report opens up the October look at manufacturing, and the results will raise talk that weak export markets may be taking an increasing toll on the sector. Watch later this morning for the Philly Fed report at 10:00 a.m. ET where contraction is also expected.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
Back in August, the Empire State report was the first to signal what proved to be sudden weakness in manufacturing. The report's reading for September was also very weak and another contractionary reading is expected for October, at minus 7.00. This report will offer the first look at this month's manufacturing sector.

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.