Economic data today was awful, at best. Retail Sales Were Negative, and that was arguably the best report. Let’s now take a look at the other reports starting with Empire State Manufacturing.

The Econoday Consensus estimate was for a slight improvement to -4 from a November reading of -4.59. The actual result was -19.37 with the lowest economic estimate -7.50.

The contraction in factory activity in the New York manufacturing region, which began way back in August, unfortunately is picking up a lot of steam this month, at minus 19.37 for the January headline which is the lowest reading since April 2009. New orders, at minus 23.54, are contracting for an eighth straight month and at the sharpest pace since March 2009. Unfilled orders, at minus 11.00, are in an even deeper string of contraction. Employment, at minus 13.00, is down for a sixth straight month as is the workweek, at minus 6.00. And there’s a crumbling going on in the 6-month outlook which, at 9.51 is still in the positive column but shows the least optimism since way back in March 2009. This report is grim and offers an initial look at January’s factory activity which, based on these results, appears to be getting hit by global concerns.

Empire State Manufacturing Index

Mike “Mish” Shedlock