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Empire Manufacturing Weaker Than Expected

Yesterday's release of the April Empire Manufacturing came in slightly weaker than expected and set the table for what could be another batch of subpar monthly economic data for April.  While economists were expecting the headline reading to come in at 7.00, the actual level came in at 3.05, which was down from March's reading of 9.24.  In addition to the decline in General Business Conditions, we also saw slower momentum in New Orders and Shipments.  At the same time, Unfilled Orders, Delivery Times, and Inventories all saw outright contractions.  Perhaps the biggest bright spot in the report was the fact that plans to increase capital spending increased to 20.5 for the third straight monthly increase.