The Federal Reserve Bank of NY’s April 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed a slight improvement of 6.4 points indicating very modest expansion. However, confidence in the future, as reflected by the six-month forward outlook, dropped -17.2 points to 12.4, its lowest level in over three years and its largest drop since April 2018. At the time, last April’s drop was thought to be tariff related. It is not clear what caused the sharp drop in this month’s forward outlook. But at best, it points to manufacturers’ uncertainty over future conditions, which may result in delays in investments and other key decisions. See the full report here.