N.Y. Empire State Manufacturing
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey’s general business conditions index remained below its neutral threshold for a second consecutive month, coming in at −2.0. Looking deeper into the numbers, new orders fell from 1 to −7.5, the worst result in six months, and shipments fell from 9 to −9.4, the steepest decline in five years. Employment indicators were also weak, as that index fell from −1 to −14.3, its lowest reading of the year and largest decline since 2012. Much of the weakness can be traced to softness outside of New York City, where Albany and Rochester are both at risk of falling into a recession. One silver lining in the survey is that expectations remain strong. The forward-looking business conditions reversed after a mild summer slump to reach its best reading in a year, with the future number of employees index perhaps the most encouraging measure.
Crude oil inventories dropped by an unexpected 6.2 million barrels in the week ending Sept. 16, as compared to analysts’ predictions of a 3.4 million barrel increase. The fall came despite upward pressure from multiple accounts. Imports rose by 247,000 barrels per day (bpd), refinery demand dropped by 143,000 bpd, and domestic production was higher by 19,000 bpd. Inventories are 11.2% higher than they were a year ago. The rise in domestic production was an important aspect of the report, as U.S. production seems to be turning around after bottoming in July. The return of shale drillers is the most significant risk to the oil price outlook.
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