Some mixed data to ponder

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on January 26, 2012

in Economic Indicators,Energy,inflation/deflation

Lately, I have found

some positive economic data to blog about and consider. Additional positive data recently came out from the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The Survey indicates that manufacturing activity expanded in New York State, with the general business conditions index climbing to its best reading since April 2011. In addition, the new orders index rose to its highest level since May 2011. The Richmond and Philadelphia surveys were also upbeat for the most part.

However, there are other data points that are less positive. And, while they may not be pointing to a dramatic economic downturn, they should be counted in the mix. There has been some recent weakness in petroleum usage and electricity output. Both of these are measures of economic activity, and have fallen rather sharply in the past few weeks.

This mixed data may accurately reflect the fact that we are simply “muddling” along with slow growth and low inflation in various sectors of the economy. Any significant move in the data, up or down, will give us a good sense of the markets next move.

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