News

This Manufacturing Index Registers Biggest Monthly Drop in 18 Years

The Empire State Manufacturing Index took a big slide from May to June.

This excerpt from a June 17 CNBC article provides the details:

A closely followed gauge of manufacturing in the New York area fell this month to its lowest level in nearly three years.

The Empire State Manufacturing Index tumbled to a -8.6 reading from 17.8 in May, a 26.4-point drop that was the biggest slide for a data series that goes back to 2001 and well below Wall Street expectations of 11.5. In all, 22% of respondents reported that conditions had improved since May while 30% said conditions worsened, according to the index, compiled by the New York Federal Reserve and indicating the difference between plans to expand and contract.

It was the lowest reading and first negative print since October 2016 and comes amid growing worries about where the broader U.S. economy is heading and what impact the ongoing trade war will have on conditions.

Internally, the measure showed sharply diminished business expectations across a number of categories.

Net new orders collapsed 22 points to -12 while shipments declined 7 points to 9.7.

Employment also looked bleak, falling to -3.5, its first negative print in more than two years. The average work week also declined to -2.2, while the prices paid component was little changed at 27.8. However, the prices received index declined 6 points to 6.8, the fourth month in a row for a decline "pointing to an ongoing deceleration in selling price increases," the release said.

Speaking of manufacturing, the automobile industry is steering toward "unprecedented upheaval," according to a top executive exiting a major car company.

The July Elliott Wave Financial Forecast provides an overview of some of the troubles that car makers are already facing:

Last month, the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast noted a decline in global car sales, and it now looks like a lot more than a temporary dip. From January to May, automakers cut 38,000 jobs, and Bloomberg reported in late May that car-industry insiders "are girding for a deeper downturn." Yesterday, Ford announced another 12,000 job cuts, eliminating 20% of its European workforce. On his way out, Daimler AG's departing chief executive warned colleagues that "sweeping cost reductions are ahead" and told them "to prepare for unprecedented industry upheaval." The pace of decline in China's auto sales "is a real surprise," said one Wall street analyst. Car sales have fallen for 12 straight months, and May had the worst sales numbers in history. The United Kingdom's car output peaked in April 2017, but the retrenchment really picked up speed in April of this year. Total production fell to 70,971 vehicles, a 44.5% reduction from April 2018. "The world may have passed 'peak car,'" concludes Business Insider.

Now is the time to prepare for what is likely down the road.

Read the free report, "What You Need to Know Now About Protecting Yourself from Deflation."

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