Having plumbed the depth of 2-year lows in April, May's Empire Manufacturing printed a disappointing 3.09 (against expectations of a bounce to 5.00 from -1.19). This is the 4th miss in a row and for context is the same level as we dropped to in January 2008. Number of employees and prices paid (and received) tumbled, new orders edged higher but crucially 'hope' plunged back to 3-month lows. Furtures expectations for CapEx and Tech Spending also collapsed.
The May general business conditions index advanced four points but, at 3.1, indicated that business conditions were only slightly better over the month. 30% of respondents reported that conditions had improved, while 27% reported that conditions had worsened.
Tech Spending expectations at 15 month lows... the biggest MoM decline since Nov 2008
The index for future general business conditions fell seven points to 29.8, suggesting a positive but less favorable outlook than last month. The future new orders index held steady at 33.9, and the index for future shipments was little changed at 31.8. All three of these indexes remain well below the levels seen throughout most of 2014.
Both indexes for future prices fell, indicating that price increases were expected to be somewhat less widespread in the months ahead. The index for future employment fell six points, but at 16.7, it still suggested that employment levels were expected to rise. The capital expenditures index declined nine points to 15.6, and the technology spending index fell to 1.0.