Data released today (Thursday) shows a sharp decline in the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, as shown on the graph below.
Since "changes in businesses' sentiment can be an early signal of future economic activity such as spending, hiring, and investment," it's worth noting this sharp reversal of the small rally of recent months...particularly as it relates to the overall longer-term downtrend from the peak in March of 2011. As you can see, this downtrend is much steeper than the one from 2004 leading to the big decline in 2008/09...this may be forecasting a repeat of such a downturn in manufacturing.
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