Last updateFri, 15 Dec 2017 3pm


Philly Fed Manufacturing Index at 5-Month High

The index for current manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve region increased 4 points to a reading of 27.9 and is now at its highest reading since May. More than 39% of the firms indicated increases in activity this month, while 11% reported decreases. Both the new orders and shipments indexes remained positive but fell this month, decreasing 10 points and 13 points, respectively. Both the unfilled orders and delivery times indexes were positive for the 12th consecutive month, suggesting longer delivery times and an increase in unfilled orders. 

Fed Reports Economy Growth in September, Early October

Reports from all 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicated that economic activity increased in September through early October, with the pace of growth split between modest and moderate. The Richmond, Atlanta, and Dallas Districts reported major disruptions from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in some areas and sectors, including transportation, energy, and agriculture.

Manufacturing activity and nonfinancial services expanded modestly to moderately in most districts. Based on an unusually low number of respondents this round, 60% of manufacturing firms reported higher sales in line with expectations. All responding firms reported a positive outlook with only small revisions from previous rounds. 

Industrial Production Up 0.3% in September

Industrial production rose 0.3% in September. The rates of change for July and August were notably revised; the current estimate for July, a decrease of 0.1%, was 0.5% lower than previously reported, while the estimate for August, a decrease of 0.7%, was 0.2% higher than before. Manufacturing output edged up 0.1% in September but fell 2.2% at an annual rate in the third quarter. The indexes for mining and utilities in September rose 0.4% and 1.5%, respectively. At 104.6% of its 2012 average, total industrial production in September was 1.6% above its year-earlier level. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-industrial-production-rose-solid-03-percent-in-september/2017/10/17/743d65e8-b345-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html  

Empire State Index at Highest Level Since 2014

Business activity grew at a robust pace in New York State, according to firms responding to the October 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed six points to 30.2, its highest level in three years. The new orders index came in at 18.0 and the shipments index rose eleven points to 27.5—readings that pointed to ongoing solid gains in orders and shipments. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms continued to be optimistic about future conditions. 

Consumer Confidence Rises in October

The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment surged in early October, reaching its highest level since the start of 2004. The data indicate a robust outlook for consumer spending that extends the current expansion to at least mid-2018, which would mark the second longest expansion since the mid 1800's. While the early October surge indicates greater optimism about the future course of the economy, it also reflects an unmistakable sense among consumers that economic prospects are now about as good as could be expected. 

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