This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 21 October 2022

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Oct 25, 2022

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 21 October 2022

This week's indicator performance presented mixed evidence of strength of the U.S. economy and the impact tightening monetary policy is having on key sectors.

Signaling slower growth rather than outright recession, industrial production regained its footing in September after declining in three of the prior four months. Total production rose 0.4% last month, as a matching gain in manufacturing and a 0.6% rise in mining more than offset a 0.3% slide in utilities. On broad-based strength, manufacturing output extended its growth streak to three months underpinned by solid business investment and demand for consumer goods. That said, the manufacturing sector is losing momentum. Manufacturing production increased at just a 1.9% annual rate in the third quarter after rising 3.6% in the second quarter.

Regional manufacturing surveys released this week support this loss of momentum. The Empire State and Philadelphia Fed surveys continued to signal contraction in early October as both headline indices remained in negative territory. Encouragingly, the surveys have been signaling less strain from supplier deliveries, reflecting, in part, softer demand, yet consistent with less upward pressure on prices. Expectations are high for manufacturing activity to start contracting in coming months as rising interest rates, consumers' spending changes from goods to services, and downturns in Europe and China collectively take a toll. Business surveys are picking up on this pessimism, as evidenced by the six-month ahead Empire State business conditions index falling to its second weakest reading since 2009 and the Philly Fed's future general activity index posting its fifth consecutive negative reading.




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