December Philly Fed continues trend of better economic news. Current manufacturing activity was positive for the third consecutive month and increased from 3.6 in November to 10.3 (anything over 0 indicates growth). The percentage of firms reporting increases in activity (25 percent) exceeded the percentage reporting decreases (15 percent). The index for current new orders also increased.
This is a positive, because it implies that business spending may begin rising — that means higher factory orders and capital goods orders.
Twice as many firms reported declines in inventories (30 percent) as reported increases (15 percent).
This follows on a better-than-expected Empire Manufacturing report for December, out this morning.
The only cautious note was November industrial production, which fell to -0.2 percent, below expectations. Capacity utilization at 77.8 percent was in-line with expectations.
Bottom line: manufacturing is improving, but companies are keeping inventories lean. They are not taking on added capacity, at least not yet.
Bookmark CNBC Data Pages:
Want updates whenever a Trader Talk blog is filed? Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/BobPisani.
Questions? Comments? email@example.com