Thursday, July 15, 2010

NY Fed: Manufacturing Conditions improve, but pace "slowed substantially" in July

by Bill McBride on 7/15/2010 08:51:00 AM

From the NY Fed: Empire State Manufacturing Survey

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that while conditions for New York manufacturers continued to improve in July, the pace of growth in business activity slowed substantially over the month.
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The general business conditions index remained positive but fell from 19.6 to 5.1 in July, indicating that conditions had improved at a significantly slower pace than in June. The index has fallen a cumulative 27 points from the 2010 peak of 31.9 reached in April.
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The new orders index dropped 7 points to 10.1, and the shipments index fell 13 points to 6.3. The unfilled orders index declined 15 points to -15.9, its lowest level since December.
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The index for number of employees drifted downward for a second consecutive month, falling from 22.4 in May to 12.4 in June, and then to 7.9 in July. This pattern suggests that employment levels did increase over the month, but at a slower pace than in the previous two months. The average workweek index dropped 18 points and, at -9.5, entered negative territory for the first time this year.
This came in well below expectations. This is more evidence that the inventory adjustment is over and that growth in the manufacturing sector has slowed. The average workweek declining is concerning.