Tags: EMPIRE STATE MANUFACTURING INDEX | ECONOMY | MANUFACTURING

Manufacturing Data Hint US Recovery May Be Slowing Down

Monday, 17 May 2010 10:55 AM

The pace of the U.S. economic rebound may be slowing, manufacturing data and retailers results hinted on Monday, at the same time as concerns grow about the impact of Europe's debt crisis on global growth.

A gauge of manufacturing in New York State continued to grow in May but at a slower pace, although the jobs gauge reached its highest level in about six years, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Monday.

"This is just confirmation that the recovery is not exactly robust. Yes we have a recovery but everyone sees the recovery is basically more of a stabilization than a new growth trend," said Peter Kenny, managing director, Knight Equity Markets, Jersey City, N.J.

The New York Fed's "Empire State" general business conditions index fell to 19.11 in May from 31.86 in April. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a May figure of 30.00. Readings of more than zero show growth.

The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is one of the earliest monthly guideposts to U.S. factory conditions.

Employment grew for a fifth consecutive month, reaching its highest level since 2004. The number of employees rose to 22.37 from 20.25 in April. The new orders index fell to 14.30 from 29.49 in April.

Meanwhile, No. 2 U.S. home improvement chain Lowe's Cos. Inc. gave a muted quarterly outlook despite posting stronger-than-expected results for the latest period, and its shares fell nearly 4 percent.

The company forecast earnings of 57 cents to 59 cents a share for its second quarter, which began on May 1. Analysts on average were expecting 62 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"While we are optimistic we will experience solid demand through the balance of the year, we view 2010 as a year of transition for our industry," Chief Executive Officer Robert Niblock said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a Reuters poll has shown that the turmoil in European debt markets is putting back economists' forecasts for when the Federal Reserve will be able to start raising rates.

Six weeks ago, a majority of the big banks that deal directly with the Fed thought it would raise interest rates before the end of this year. By last week, most predicted the first hike would come in 2011.

"We hope the worst of the (European) fallout is that the Federal Reserve has to linger for longer in its present stance," said Citigroup economist Robert DiClemente.

In other economic news, foreign investors set a record for
purchases of long-term U.S. securities in March, snapping up $140.5 billion and shattering a previous peak seen in 2007, the Treasury Department said on Monday.

March's net long-term purchases were roughly three times those seen in February, when foreigners bought a net $47.1 billion. March's total was the largest since Treasury began collecting such data in the 1930s.

The previous high was recorded in May 2007, when foreigners bought a net $135.8 billion. Overall inflows, which include short-term securities such as Treasury bills, rose in March, with foreigners buying a net $10.5 billion, compared with an upwardly revised $9.7 billion inflow the prior month.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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The pace of the U.S. economic rebound may be slowing, manufacturing data and retailers results hinted on Monday, at the same time as concerns grow about the impact of Europe's debt crisis on global growth. A gauge of manufacturing in New York State continued to grow in May...
EMPIRE STATE MANUFACTURING INDEX,ECONOMY,MANUFACTURING
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2010-55-17
Monday, 17 May 2010 10:55 AM
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