We’re headed into 3Q 2014 on a somewhat upbeat pace, this according to reports released today both regionally as well as nationally. Yet so far, such reports are not exactly a robust, white-hot narrative yet anything in the positive is better than the other way around. In fact, a gradual boost isaccredited investor news better than a runaway economy and right now no one is predicting that to happen.

The New York Federal Reserve reported today that the General Business Conditions Index at a level not seen in four years. New orders increased, factories added to inventories in anticipation of a stronger demand and the overall reading rose to 19.28, up from 19.01 the previous month.

Taking this gauge nationally, the U.S. manufacturing output increased by 0.6 percent, with increases of all types of goods showing advances indicating that that the dismal winter did in fact have a significant input on factor orders and consumption after all. The report also stated that factory utilization, or manufacturing capacity hit a level not seen for more than five years. The manufacturing capacity hit 77.0 percent last month while overall industrial capacity reached 79.1 percent.

These two reports are just two that have been coming in with at least better than expected tallies and suggest the economy is on a slow but steady growth path. Which also keeps any signs of inflation at bay as well. Economists like growth but the Fed hates inflation and keeps a keen eye on that number each month. At current rate, the quantitative easing program should end as scheduled later this fall and unless we’re caught with geopolitical events in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, which seems very possible, there’s no reason to expect any direct rate increases by the Fed until well into 2015. In fact, geopolitical developments should cause more funds to be directed at U.S. Treasuries and mortgage backed securities, keeping rates lower, longer.