Monday, July 16, 2007

Empire State Index Shows Strength

From the NY Fed:

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to improve in July. The general business conditions index held near its June level, at 26.5.

The new orders index climbed for a fourth consecutive month to its highest level in more than a year, while the shipments index remained near its June level. The inventories index tumbled sharply into negative territory. The prices paid index, although elevated, eased modestly, as the prices received index held steady. Employment indexes were modestly positive. Future indexes conveyed significant optimism, with notable improvements in the outlook for employment and capital spending.

I'm a big fan of these regional Federal Reserve reports. They give us a nice regional picture of good, general business information.

This release gives us further confirmation of a strengthening manufacturing sector. However, the inventory questions could indicate a period of slowing activity in the next few months. That situation -- as with most in the economics realm -- will have to play out.

I should add that I am not a big fan of the future outlook question because it's really easy for those being polled to be really optimistic.