Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Empire State Survey goes negative
The August Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers deteriorated over the month. The general business conditions index slipped below zero for the first time since October 2011, falling thirteen points to -5.9. At -5.5, the new orders index was below zero for a second consecutive month, and the shipments index fell six points to 4.1. The prices paid index climbed nine points to 16.5, pointing to a pickup in the pace of increase in input prices, while the prices received index hovered just above zero for a third consecutive month.
In a series of supplementary questions, manufacturers were asked about modifications to 2012 hiring and capital spending—both year-to-date changes and revisions planned for the rest of the year. Substantially more firms (roughly twice as many) made downward than upward revisions in their plans for the second half of the year. As for actual spending year-to-date, modest downward adjustments were made, on balance. When asked about negative influences on 2012 hiring and capital spending plans, a majority of respondents cited increased uncertainty about business prospects.
Sales fell 5.5 percent to $5.50 billion in the second quarter ended on July 28, well below the analysts' average estimate of $5.72 billion. International sales dropped 18 percent to $1.1 billion, hurt by weakness in Europe, which is reeling from an economic crisis, and lackluster demand in Australia.
Import cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports is expected to increase 6.3% in August compared with the same month last year,
I put on my rose-colored glasses and read the report. I'm just not seeing what you are seeing.
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, but remained positive blah blah...
Emphasis added, lol. Sigh.
These two reports are completely the opposite. One cannot believe anything, I guess. If I had to choose I would discard the surveys as they are not actual accounting numbers compiled.
So two of the four NBER indices, retail sales and industrial production, have improved in the most recent reporting month.
Remember, auto lines were running longer than normal in July - we saw that in the initial claims series for a couple of weeks. Total MV production was up 1.9% for the month.
It's the leading edge that concerns me!
On the other hand, utilities were up 1.3%. I find that hard to believe, given the heatwaves. It should have been up about 2.5%. That implies that the real economy is slacker than expected.
Defense/space rose 2.8% in July after a strike ended. I don't see any discrepancy in the numbers. It's clearing forward that concerns me!
It's a bizarre market.
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