Two key reports this week continue to indicate that the manufacturing sector continues its strong rebound from a year ago.
On Tuesday, the Empire State general business conditions index jumped nearly 9 points to 24.91 -- a reading that indicates substantial month-to-month acceleration in the region's manufacturing conditions. New orders, at a level of 8.78, and shipments, at 15.14, are both solidly indicating month-to-month expansion. January's readings were unusually strong relative to December.
Then on Thursday, the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing regional index came in at 17.6, indicating month-to-month growth. The level came in above January's 15.2 level to indicate an accelerating rate of growth -- like the Empire Index. Of particular note were new orders which really accelerated this month coming in at 22.7 in February vs. January's 3.2. Shipments also accelerated to a level 19.7 vs. 11.0 in January.
Both reports point to another month of strength for the ISM's national manufacturing report to be released on March 1. All three will likely mean accelerated GDP growth in Q1 2010.
When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.