Out of the woods?
Empire State Index jumps
The NY MFG survey turned in an impressive set of readings to start the New Year. The index reading jumped to 13.48 from 8.14, a large gain. The index now sits squarely in the 48th percentile of its queue nearly at its median. More impressive is its outlook index at a level of +54.87 which sits high in its queue of values as the fifth highest outlook reading in the last 91 months.
New orders rose sharply in the month to the 75th percentile of their range and the 58th percentile of their queue. The shipments index a real-time evaluation of activity advanced to 21.69 from 20.06 and stands in the 73rd percentile of its range and the 69th percentile of its historic queue. Both are impressive readings. Unfilled orders, however, continue to be negative. They rank near the bottom one-third of their historic queue. Unfilled orders and order backlogs tend to correlate with job growth but the jobs metric made a very strong push to 12.09 in January from 2.33 in December; jobs are now in the top 20% of their high/low range and stand at the 71st percentile of their historic queue of values (the queue reading at 71 means that the jobs index has been higher than this only 29% of the time historically). Average hours worked also have jumped in the month to 6.59 from -2.33.
Overall it is an impressive performance from New York. Will the service sector state prove to be a bellwether for the nation’s manufacturing sector?