Economic News Update: Manufacturing conditions in the region were mixed in September, according to firms responding to this month’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The indicator for general activity fell into negative territory, but indicators for new orders, shipments, and employment remained positive. Evidence suggests that the responses regarding general activity that were received earlier in the month may have been negatively affected by the volatility in the stock market and international news reports. Firms stated essentially unchanged prices for raw materials and other inputs in September and slight declines in prices for their own products. The survey’s indicators of future activity remained near their readings in August, indicating that firms expect a continuation of growth in the manufacturing sector over the next six months.
Indicators Were Mixed in September
The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, reduced from 8.3 in August to -6.0 this month. This is the first negative reading in the index since February 2014. However, the demand for manufactured goods, as measured by the survey’s current new orders index, showed continued growth: The diffusion index raised from 5.8 to 9.4. Firms stated that shipments also continued to rise. The current shipments index remained positive but fell 2 points, to 14.8.
Firms’ responses suggest some improvement in employment conditions in September despite the stated lull in overall activity. The percentage of firms reporting an improvement in employees in September (21 percent) was higher than the percentage reporting a decrease (11 percent). The current employment index raised 5 points, its highest reading in five months. Firms also stated, on balance, a modest improvement in the workweek similar to August.
Prices Near Steady This Month
Firms stated near-steady prices of purchased inputs this month. The percentage of firms reporting price improvements (16 percent) was nearly offset by the percent reporting price reductions (15 percent). Roughly two-thirds of the firms stated steady input prices this month. The prices paid diffusion index fell 6 points, to 0.5, its lowest reading in four months. With respect to prices received for manufactured goods, the percent of firms reporting lower prices (17 percent) exceeded the percentage reporting higher prices (12 percent) for the second successive month. The prices received index was virtually unchanged from August at -5.0.
Future Indexes Remained Generally Optimistic
The survey’s broadest indicator of future growth edged slightly higher this month. The future general activity index raised 1 point, to 44.0, its highest reading since January (see Chart). The future index for new orders, at 44.4, reduced 2 points, while the future shipments index, at 41.4, raised 4 points. Furthermore, 28 percent of the firms expect expansion in their workforce over the next six months, while 10 percent expect a reduction. The future employment index, at 17.9, declined 4 points from its August reading.
In this month’s special questions, firms were asked to estimate their total production growth for the third quarter ending this month along with predictable growth for the fourth quarter. Firms anticipating improvements in third-quarter production (46 percent) edged out those anticipating decreases (42 percent). However, the median production growth predictable by firms for the third quarter was essentially unchanged from the second quarter. With regard to the fourth quarter, the percentage of firms forecasting acceleration in the rate of production growth (41 percent) was only slightly greater than the percentage forecasting deceleration in growth (39 percent).
The Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggests diminished general activity in September, although firms stated continued moderate growth in new orders and shipments. Employment also expanded moderately, suggesting firms are optimistic about a continuation of growth despite stated weakness in overall activity this month. The survey’s price indexes showed no signs of upward pressures this month. Indicators reflecting firms’ expectations for the next six months held steady or improved, suggesting expectations have not been notably diminished contrast with previous months.
U.S. Stocks NEWS: On Friday, Shares of Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:YGE), lost -25.46% to $0.430.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, declared that its holding partner, Yingli Energy (Beijing) Company Limited has reached a contract with CFC Group Construction Limited to supply 170 megawatts (MW) of solar panels for utility-scale power plants in Chinas Hebei province. It is Yinglis largest solar panel supply agreement to date in China.
According to the agreement, Yingli will deliver over 650,000 multicrystalline YGE Series solar panels to CFC Construction during the third quarter and fourth quarter of 2015. The panels will be installed in power plants located in the city of Zhangjiakou, one of Hebei provinces largest municipalities. Once operational, the panels are predictable to generate more than 200,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy, offsetting about 120,000 tons of carbon emissions.
Zhangjiakou is an ideal location for the development of solar power plants due to its abundant solar resources, large industrial base, and high demand for electricity, so it was selected by Chinas State Council to be the site of the countrys first renewable energy pilot zone. Zhangjiakou also recently won the rights to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games together with Beijing, and these new solar power plants will assist provide clean solar power for a green, low-carbon Olympics.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, together with its auxiliaries, designs, develops, markets, manufactures, sells, and installs photovoltaic (PV) products in the People’s Republic of China and internationally. The company offers polysilicon ingots and blocks, polysilicon wafers, PV cells, PV modules, and integrated PV systems; and develops and operates solar projects.
Shares of The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), declined -1.69% to $18.57, during its last trading session.
Salesforce, declared that Western Union [NYSE:WU] is transforming engagement with customers and its network of more than 500,000 agents with Salesforce. Western Union is using the power of Sales Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud and App Cloud to automate formerly paper-based processes, which has reduced the time needed to onboard a new agent. In addition, custom apps built on App Cloud assist Western Union agents comply with complex financial services regulations and provide them with access to the latest company marketing collateral. Commercial customers are able to use custom apps for credit administration and transaction invoices, and business intelligence empowers Western Union to make critical business decisions through access to the vast amount of agent and location data.
The Western Union Company provides money movement and payment services worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Consumer-to-Consumer, Consumer-to-Business, and Business Solutions.
At the end of Friday’s trade, Shares of Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN), lost -2.16% to $150.59.
Amgen and Dezima Pharma B.V. (Dezima), declared that the companies have reached a definitive acquisition agreement under which Amgen will acquire Dezima, a privately-held, Netherlands-based biotechnology company focused on developing innovative treatments for dyslipidemia. Dezima shareholders have approved the agreement.
With the recent launches of Repatha (evolocumab) and Corlanor (ivabradine), and recentlys acquisition of Dezima, Amgen is proud to be on the leading edge of an exciting new wave of treatments for cardiovascular disease, an illness impacting millions of people worldwide, said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen.
Dezimas lead molecule is TA-8995, an oral, once-daily cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor. In a Phase 2b clinical trial for dyslipidemia, TA-8995 reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 45 to 48 percent contrast to baseline. LDL-C reduction was consistent when TA-8995 was administered as monotherapy or in combination with statins. The most common adverse events were nasopharyngitis and headache.
Amgen Inc., a biotechnology company, discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers human therapeutics worldwide. It focuses for the treatment of illness in the areas of oncology, hematology, inflammation, bone health, nephrology, cardiovascular, and general medicine.
Finally, Kroger Co (NYSE:KR), ended its last trade with -2.05% loss, and closed at $36.73.
The Kroger Co.s (KR) Board of Directors, declared a quarterly dividend of 10.5¢ per share to be paid on December 1, 2015, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 13, 2015.
In June, Krogers Board raised the quarterly dividend by about 13.5 percent. Kroger has delivered double-digit compound growth in its dividend since it was reinstated in 2006. The company continues to expect an increasing dividend over time.
Kroger, one of the worlds largest retailers, employs nearly 400,000 associates who serve customers in 2,623 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names counting Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Frys, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smiths. The company also operates 781 convenience stores, 327 fine jewelry stores, 1,350 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and community organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chambers Million Dollar Club.
The Kroger Co., together with its auxiliaries, operates as a retailer in the United States and internationally. It also manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. The company operates retail food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores.
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