Must be the weather, because lower gas prices is "unambiguously good" for everyone. The Empire Fed manufacturing survey collapsed to -3.6 from 10.16 , its lowest since January 2013, missing expectations of a rebound to 12.4 by the most in 4 years. New orders plunged and unfilled orders utterly collapsed from -7.45 to -23.96 or as some would call it, "unambiguously bad." The timing of this US macro data collapse could not be better for The Fed of course, which with the entire world reeling form a demand crunch (see oil) needs an excuse to keep lower-for-longer on the table, and even proceed with QE4 if and when needed.
Empire Fed crashes.
As the report notes,
For the first time in nearly two years, the general business conditions index signaled a decline in business activity for New York manufacturers. The index retreated fourteen points to -3.6 in December, with 19 percent of respondents reporting that conditions had improved over the month and 23 percent reporting that conditions had worsened.
Overall, readings for the headline index during the fourth quarter of 2014 mark a significant downshift in activity from the levels seen during the five-month period from May through September.
The new orders index fell eleven points to -2.0, indicating a small decline in orders, and the shipments index dropped twelve points to -0.2— a sign that shipments were flat. Th unfilled orders index plummetedseventeen points to -24.0. The delivery time index drifted down to -14.6, suggesting that delivery times were shorter, and the inventories index fell to -11.5, pointing to lower inventory levels.
Even Optimism declined: "The index for future general business conditions fell nine points to 38.6"
And kiss expectations for a CapEx surge (for the 4th year in a row) goodbye: "The capital expenditures index fell twelve points to 15.6."
Of course, with the Fed desperate to find an excuse to get out of its "rate hike" channel, who could have possibly seen this coming? From yesterday...
If the Fed decides against hiking, US macro "data" should start turning darn bad right about now— zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 14, 2014