Richmond Fed Plunges; Consumers Underconfident For The Fourth Month In A Row
...But at least housing has bottomed (it so difficult to even write that with a straight face). Our two economic indicators today continued the tradition of the last 2 months and both missed, with the Richmond Fed sliding to -3 on expectations of a +2 print, and down from +4: the lowest number since October 2011. And the other data point hinting to the Fed that it is needs to do something now, was the June Consumer Confidence number, which was lower 4 months in a row (for the first time since May 2008), and which declined from 64.4 to 62.0, missing expectations of 63.0, and the lowest since January, undoing all transitory, S&P500 driven gains of the year.
From the Richmond Fed:
Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region softened in June, following six months of moderate expansion, according to the Richmond Fed's latest survey. Looking at the main components of activity, shipments edged into negative territory as growth in new orders experienced notable declines and employment grew at a rate well below May's pace. Most other indicators also suggested weakening activity. District contacts reported that capacity utilization and vendor lead-time turned negative, while growth in order backlogs exhibited marked weakness. Manufacturers reported that finished goods inventories grew at a much quicker pace, while raw materials were nearly unchanged.
Despite the moderation in recent activity, assessments of business prospects for the next six months were in line with last month's readings. Contacts at more firms anticipated that shipments, new orders, backlogs, capacity utilization and capital expenditures would grow at a solid pace.
Survey assessments of current prices revealed that both raw materials and finished goods prices grew at a somewhat slower rate in June than a month ago. Over the next six months, respondents expected growth in raw materials prices to grow at a somewhat slower pace, while they expected price growth in finished goods to rise at a somewhat faster rate than they had anticipated last month.
And as for consumer confidence:
Finally, confidence vs the S&P courtesy of John Lohman. Move along, nothing to see here.