Today's Empire State index rose as expected to 4.8
Today's Empire State index rose as expected to 4.8 from a slightly 3.3 (was 3.5) in December, leaving the highest reading since a 14.4 (was 17.8) figure in May. Annual revisions lowered all the Empire State levels since July. Component gains allowed the ISM-adjusted measure to also increase, to 51.7 from 51.3 (was 51.7), leaving the highest readings since a 52.2 (was 52.4) figure in September. Today's rise defied the downside risks posed to the January sentiment reports from Boeing's 737 MAX production halt, as order and production cutbacks ripple through the supply chain. Analysts still have sentiment tailwinds into 2020 from the phase-one trade deal that is being signed today, less Brexit uncertainty, and an ongoing vehicle sector recovery from the GM strike. These factors apparently helped to lift today's data despite events at Boeing. Analysts expect the ISM-adjusted average of all the major sentiment surveys to remain at a depressed 51 for a third month in January, versus the 52-53 range over the five months through October. Analysts've seen erratic sentiment swings since 2018 that analysts attribute to competing opinions about the trade war and other dynamic global events.