It was a nice run while it lasted. Following a surge in optimism on the part of New York Manufacturers in the wake of November’s election, sentiment in the region has now given up all of the post-election gains and moved back into negative territory. In this month’s Empire Manufacturing survey, the index of current general business conditions dropped for the third straight month. While economists were expecting the headline index to come in at a level of +7.5, the actual reading came in at -1, which was the lowest level since last October. While General Business conditions declined, manufacturers are still optimistic as expectations were pretty much unchanged at 39.3.
What was really disheartening about this month’s report was that there were really no bright spots. The table below breaks down this month’s report by each of the survey’s sub-indices. As shown on the left side of the table, in terms of current conditions, every category declined month/month. To find the last time that happened, you have to go back exactly four years to May 2013. Expectations didn’t fare much better as just four categories showed an uptick while five declined. This is certainly not the type of economic data you want to see to kick off the week.
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