The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index fell to just 0.3 in June from 16.6 in May. The index is now near levels seen in February when it hit zero, indicating ongoing weakness in the manufacturing industry.
- The Philly Fed index came in at just 0.3, down from 16.6 and well below expectations of a reading of 12.
- The dire report strengthens the dovish outlook recently indicated by the Fed, which may lead to rate cuts in 2019 as initially demanded by the markets.
The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index came in with a reading almost 12 whole points below market expectations, undoing the gradual recovery seen since its reading of zero in February which indicated no growth.
Lower prices are behind the sudden decline, according to the Philadelphia Fed. The current prices received index which indicates the prices set out by manufacturers dropped 17 points to 0.6, the lowest reading since October 2016.
Manufacturers “suggest weaker regional manufacturing conditions compared with last month”. New orders, shipments and employment also fell this month.
The Federal Reserve elected on Wednesday to keep interest rates flat for now, though indicated that it was prepared to introduce rate cuts if conditions worsened. The situation with the Philly Fed manufacturing index strengthens the case for the central bank to maintain its dovish outlook and perhaps even cut rates. The escalating trade war between China and the US is another strong factor in the current outlook, creating uncertainty in the national and international markets.
The past two Fridays, an economic datapoint has been used to shove gold backward from near $1360.
Therefore watch today's 8:30 ET release of the Philly Fed very closely.
— TF Metals Report (@TFMetals) June 20, 2019
Gold prices have soared upward today following the dovish statements released by the Fed on Wednesday as well as the sub-expectation report released by the Philly Fed. The weak performance in manufacturing coupled with general economic uncertainty strengthens the use case for gold as a save haven asset used to mitigate risk.
Spot gold is up 2.97% and trading at $1,384.56/oz with a high of $1,386.16/oz and a low of $1,344.78/oz.