Growth in the New York state's manufacturing region is slow but steady, headlined by a 6.56 index for April. This is down from rates around the 20 level in the prior two months, but the headline reading for this report is a subjective assessment of general business conditions. Arguably the most important reading in this report is new orders which show little change: 6.48 April, 6.84 March, 9.73 February. These rates of incoming order growth aren't gangbusters but they are sustainable which hints at long term health for the region's manufacturing economy.
Other readings are mixed including slowing growth for shipments, a contraction in unfilled orders, and a small build for inventories. Price data are mixed showing heavy but easing pressure for inputs and also some pricing power for finished goods. A big positive is a third straight gain for employment which, at an index of 19.28, indicates that manufacturers in the region may be scrambling for help.
Today's report is one of the earliest indications on the month of April, and though some readings are on the soft side, the steady trend of modest monthly gains for new orders is a significant positive. Next data on April manufacturing will be on Thursday with the Philadelphia Fed's report.
Market Consensus before announcement
The Empire State manufacturing index in March rose to 20.21 from 19.53 the month before. Strength was in inventories, number of employees, and delivery time. Weakness was in a slowing in new orders growth (though still positive) and shipments growth. Readings on the six month outlook were very positive but slightly less positive than February and January.