Having surged to its highest since Oct 2014 early in the year on the back of Trumptopian exuberance, Empire Fed’s manufacturing survey crashed back to -1.0 in May
4 standard deviations below expectations.
This is the worst (and first) contractionary print since October 2016 as New Orders crash from 7-year highs to 7-month lows.
Prices paid and received both fell (deflationary threat from China), inventories shrank (bad for GDP), average workweek and number of employees dropped (not making America great again), and future capex expectations plunged to 7 month lows.
All in all – a perfect reflection of the death of animal spirits and why paying attention to the the spikes in these surveys – while ignoring ‘hard’ data – is a fool’s errand.