This month’s Empire Manufacturing report for December came in better than expected this morning as the headline index rose to -4.59 from last month’s reading of -10.74; economists had been looking for a reading of -7 in the headline index. While this month’s Empire Manufacturing report was negative, it has shown steady improvement with four straight months of m/m increases. In addition to the increase in the headline index, expectations for the next six months saw an even bigger jump, rising by 18.2 points to 38.5. As shown in the second chart, plans for Cap Ex and Tech Spending also showed increases this month.
The table below breaks down this month’s Empire Manufacturing report by each of the survey’s components. For each one, we show current conditions and expectations for the next six months. As far as current conditions go, the only components that declined were Average Workweek, Hours Worked and Prices Paid. On the upside, we saw big jumps in both shipments and new orders. In terms of expectations, manufacturers are the most optimistic regarding Shipments and Prices Received, while they are modestly negative regarding Inventories, Prices Paid, and Number of Employees.