The latest data from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve came out today and it startled CNBC's Senior Economic Reporter, Steve Liesman. Here's why.
The number released was minus 4.3 – when economists expected a positive 4. (Any reading below zero indicates contraction in the region's manufacturing sector.)
“It looks like the weak manufacturing number spilled over into December. New York and Chicago had both been strong – but manufacturing in the Philadelphia area has slowed down,” said Liesman.
“The reason we pay so much attention to this (regional number) – it seems to do a good job forecasting where the nation is heading.”
The dollar slipped a bit on that data. The bottom line: There could be some worrisome economic numbers to come.