Manufacturers in New York state, like their colleagues in the Mid-Atlantic, are having their hands full with exceptionally strong activity. The Empire State index did edge back 2.3 points this month to 16.4 from February's 18.7 but this reading is a single-question sentiment index. More substantial readings are through the roof.
New orders are up nearly 8 points this month to a 21.3 level that was last exceeded in April 2010. Unfilled orders jumped 6 points to 14.2 which is the highest reading since way back in March 2006. Delivery times, at 10.6 for a 3.5 point gain, show the most month-to-month slowing since May 2004.
Slowing delivery times are the signal that activity may be getting too hot. The sample's average workweek, at 15.0, is the strongest since March 2012. Employment is understandably on the rise, at 8.8 for a nearly 7 point gain.
This report had been lagging the Philly Fed in strength but not any more. The strength of these reports are inflationary, pointing to the risk of supply dislocations. Yet anecdotal reports have not panned out much at all to actual strength in the real economy, a disconnect that appears very likely, given the enormous strength of these regional reports, to resolve itself with outsized strength for the industrial production and factory order reports.