April 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Index Improved

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The above graphic shows that when the index is in negative territory that it is not a signal of a recession - of 10 times in negative territory (since the Great Recession) - no recession occurred. Conversely, a positive number is likely to be indicating economic expansion. Historically, when it does make a correct negative prediction it can be timely - this index was only two months late in going negative after what was eventually determined to be the start of the 2007 recession.

This survey has a lot of extra bells and whistles which take attention away from the core questions: (1) are orders and (2) are unfilled orders (backlog) improving? - and the answer is that the key internals were mixed with unfilled orders improving and now in expansion, and new orders declining but still in expansion.

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Unfilled order contraction can be a signal for a recession.

Summary of all Federal Reserve Districts Manufacturing:

Richmond Fed (hyperlink to reports):

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Kansas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

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Dallas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

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Philly Fed (hyperlink to reports):

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New York Fed (hyperlink to reports):

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Federal Reserve Industrial Production - Actual Data (hyperlink to report):

Holding this and other survey's Econintersect follows accountable for their predictions, the following graph compares the hard data from Industrial Products manufacturing subindex (dark blue bar) and US Census manufacturing shipments (lighter blue bar) to the Dallas Fed survey (light blue bar).

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In the above graphic, hard data is the long bars, and surveys are the short bars. The arrows on the left side are the key to growth or contraction.

Caveats on the use of the Empire State Manufacturing Survey:

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