In what is the first read on the manufacturing sector for 2014, today's release of the Empire Manufacturing for January came in better than expected (12.51 vs. 3.5). So far, so good. Today's report was also the strongest reading for the headline number since May 2012. Interestingly, while the current conditions index saw a moderate increase from last month's reading of 2.22, expectations for the next six months actually saw a modest decline (from 38.96 down to 37.51).
The table below breaks down today's Empire Manufacturing report by category. For each category, we highlight the current level, the one month change as well as expectations for six months out. In the January report, every component increased, while the only two that were negative were Unfilled Orders (-8.5) and Delivery Times (-8.5). This month's biggest gainers were Inventories (24.1), Prices Paid (20.9) and Unfilled Orders (15.6). Based on the spread between current conditions and estimates for six months from now, it appears as though manufacturers are expecting the most improvement in New Orders, Shipments, and Unfilled Orders.