• Stock case
  • Two More 'Soft' Economic Reports Just Turned Less Bullish

Two More 'Soft' Economic Reports Just Turned Less Bullish

XNew readings on the New York-area manufactuing and homebuilder confidence turned somewhat less positive in April , continuing a recent trend of "soft" economic data becoming less euphoric while "hard" data remain sluggish to weak.

The New York Federal Reserve's Empire State manufacturing index fell to 5.2 in April from March's 16.4. That was well below estimates for 15.0, though the reading is still positive, indicating growth. Meanwhile, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index for April fell three points to 68. That's below views for a reading of 70, but it's still close to March's 11-year high and well above the break-even 50 level.

The Empire State and NAHB indexes are among the earliest reports for the current month and has been bullish recently. Most "soft" economic data, including sentiment gauges and other surveys, have been upbeat since the President Trump's election.

However, the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index has erased nearly all its postelection gains as Trump struggles with health care and other policy agenda items. "Hard" data that have actual sales, production or job figures, have generally been less impressive.


On Friday, the Commerce Department reported retail sales fell in March, following a decline in February. E-commerce sales from Amazon (AMZN) and others remained strong, while auto sales declined, confirming weaker-than-expected U.S. unit sales from General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and most other automakers.

On Tuesday, "hard" data reports on housing starts and industrial production for March will be released.

U.S. Auto Sales Fall To 2-Year Low As GM Inventories Swell

The Trump Economic Optimism Surge Has Vanished: IBD/TIPP Poll

Social sharing:

Leave a comment