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Just out.The February Empire Fed manufacturing report has surged to 19.53 in February, up from 13.48 last month.
This is well ahead of expectations of 15.00.
The recovery still appears to be intact.
The February Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that manufacturing activity in New York State expanded for a third consecutive month. The general business conditions index rose six points to 19.5, its highest level in more than a year. The new orders index, at 9.7, was positive but down slightly, and the shipments index was little changed at 22.8. The prices paid index held steady at 25.9, while the prices received index fell eight points to 15.3, suggesting that selling prices rose at a slower pace. Employment indexes were positive and close to last month’s levels, indicating that employment levels and the average workweek continued to rise at a modest pace. Indexes for the six-month outlook, while somewhat lower than last month, remained at fairly high levels, signaling considerable optimism about the future.
In a series of supplementary survey questions, manufacturers were asked about their 2012 capital spending plans and how the plans compared with their actual spending for 2011. Parallel questions had been asked in earlier surveys, including the February 2011 survey. Substantially more respondents indicated that they planned increases (46 per cent) than reductions (25 per cent) in overall capital spending in 2012. These results are not substantially different from those in last February’s survey. As in earlier surveys, the increases most widely expected were for non-computer-related equipment; in contrast, manufacturers remained somewhat reluctant to invest in structures, though less so than in earlier surveys. The median projected level of capital spending for 2012 across all respondent firms was up 29 per cent from the median actual level reported for 2011.
The full report is here.
More to come…