Tuesday morning's release of the ISM New York report for September came in at a level of 52.9, which was the third straight month the indicator was above 50. What makes this reading noteworthy is the fact that the Empire Manufacturing report for the month of September was not only weaker than expected, it was also at its most negative reading since April 2009. So while the ISM New York is telling us that the NY economy has been growing for three straight months, the Empire Manufacturing report is telling us that the NY economy is weaker than at any other point since the end of the Financial Crisis.
In the chart below we have plotted the three-month moving average of both the Empire Manufacturing (blue line) and ISM New York (red line). As shown, although the two series have typically tracked each other closely, there have been periods where the two indicators diverged. Unfortunately, there is not a clear trend to say that one typically leads the other, but for now at least, people in New York can take some solace in the fact that after both indicators saw a few months of declines, at least one of them is beginning to turn higher.