This morning’s Empire Fed Manufacturing number was weaker than expected.
But the general sense from analysts is that it wasn’t so bad once you looked in the internals.
1. The headline Empire manufacturing index from the New York Federal Reserve posted a -8.5 reading in October, essentially no improvement from the -8.8 recorded last month. This index reflects respondents’ answers to the question “What is your evaluation of the level of general business activity?”, showing generally downbeat views of the current economic situation.
2. However, when asked about activity at their own business facilities, responses were considerably more encouraging. The new orders index stabilised at +0.2, from -8.0 in September (this is the first positive reading since May). The shipments and employment indexes flipped from negative to positive territory (a 17-point swing in the case of the shipments index).
3. Indicators of price pressures eased, with the “prices paid” index at its lowest level since autumn 2010 and the the “prices received” indexes also showing a bit less inflation GSCO