Today’s Empire Manufacturing report for the month of April came in weaker than expected on the headline reading, but the report wasn’t all bad. While economists were forecasting the headline index to come in at a level of 15.0 from last month’s reading of 16.4, the actual reading was 5.2, or the lowest reading since November. Digging a little bit deeper into the report, though, while current General Business conditions declined, expectations for six months from now actually saw a slight increase. Additionally, as shown in the lower chart, plans for both Capital Expenditures and Technology Spending increased. In the case of Cap Ex, that reading hit a two-plus year high.
The table below breaks down this month’s report by each of the individual categories. As shown, breadth was relatively strong as the majority of the weakness in current conditions was in New Orders and to a lesser degree, Average Workweek, and Unfilled Orders.
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