Here we analyze a selection of third-party news articles—both those we agree and disagree with.

Please note: Though we make every effort to source articles from freely available sites, we will also regularly include articles on sites that have limited content for non-subscribers. Doing so is increasingly unavoidable, as more and more financial media is published behind paywalls.

New York Manufacturing Activity Plunges by Second-Most in Data to 2001

MarketMinder’s View: “A gauge of New York state manufacturing activity plunged by the second-most in data back to 2001, with sharp declines in orders and shipments that indicate an abrupt downturn in demand. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s August general business conditions index slumped more than 42 points to minus 31.3, with the drop just behind that seen in April 2020, a report showed Monday. A reading below zero indicates contraction, and the figure was far weaker than the most downbeat forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.” That is what this article reports, which is all factual and not great. But, some other points it doesn’t convey: This is a very narrow, volatile gauge that people usually don’t pay much attention to. That makes a lot of sense when you consider it dates only to July 2001. There have been two full recessions (2007 – 2009 and 2020) since. (The 2001 recession began in March and ended in November, per the National Bureau of Economic Research.) Manufacturing also comprises 4.5% of New York state’s economic output, per the National Association of Manufacturers. Furthermore, since the 2020 lockdowns, the index has posted an average move of 17.2 points (up or down) monthly, more than doubling the average from its inception through 2019’s close. Nine of this index’s ten biggest monthly swings have come since January 2020, with August marking the fourth such swing in 2022. So seeing something narrow with little history swing big (as it has repeatedly since the lockdowns) get so much media attention seems like more of a sign of dour sentiment than a harbinger of what lies ahead for the broader US economy.