For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance. - George Orwell, "1984"
The ability to perceive and understand the truth about Government/Federal Reserve/Industry economic reports is getting more difficult for those who only look at the headlines or take a cursory glance at the story, without delving into the details. I'm sure eventually, if Orwell's vision plays out accurately even further than it has already, the details behind the headlines will be conveniently obfuscated - “Yes, sometimes two plus two is four. But sometimes it’s five or even three. Sometimes it’s all of those at the same time.” (from "1984").
So today the NY Fed released its monthly Empire State Manufacturing report, which showed that the general index increased from April's decline. But the new orders index was -6.7, shipments index was -11.8%, unfilled orders -14.5%, labor index -10. I believe the source of the increase was derived from prices paid, +21, and prices received, +11.3. There was an increase in the "outlook," a touch-feely sentiment poll, but the 6-month future outlook was negative.
In fact, beneath the headline number the report was down-right ugly. You can check my ability to read and copy numbers here: Empire State Manufacturing Survey. ...