Making Sense of Manufacturing Data
This past week, we received three data series on manufacturing. The manufacturing component of the Industrial Production report from the Federal Reserve showed increased production, but both the Empire State Manufacturing Survey from the New York Fed and the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey showed contraction for the current-period measures. What gives?
First, the facts. Let's start with using the Industrial Production report as the Gospel truth on recent activity. After all, it's hard figures on production, and is not a sentiment measure like the other two reports. It's also a national metric, not just firms in a single Federal Reserve district. The IP report includes mining, which includes energy drilling, and utilities, which can be affected by weather. We'll focus on manufacturing. Output increased 0.5% in July after another 0.5% increase in June, and is now 5% above the year-ago level....477 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.
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