The Philly Fed, which was expected to rise from the April number of 18.5 to 20, instead collapsed to 3.9! This compares to the March level of over 43. So much for the "Economic Recovery"TM. The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, decreased from 18.5 in April to 3.9, its lowest reading since last October (see Chart) and the 3rd largest 2 month drop on record. The demand for manufactured goods, as measured by the current new orders index, showed a similar slowing: The index fell 13 points while the shipments index declined 23 points; both remained positive, however, suggesting slight growth last month. For the first time in eight months, firms reported that unfilled orders and delivery times were falling—both indexes were slightly negative this month." And even thought the prices paid dropped from 57.1 to 48.3, this was little solace for survey respondents: "A majority of firms continued to cite input price pressures and a sizable share of firms reported higher prices for their own manufactured goods again this month." Time for Tim Geithner's 2011 NYT OpEd edition, titled appropriately, "Welcome to the Economic Stagflation." And, oh yes, bring on the QE3.
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