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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions grew modestly in July
Business activity grew modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the July 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell ten points to 9.8. The new orders index moved down to 13.3, and the shipments index fell to 10.5, suggesting that orders and shipments continued to grow, though at a somewhat slower pace than in June. Delivery times continued to lengthen, and inventory levels were fairly steady. Labor market indicators pointed to a small increase in employment and no change in hours worked. Input prices and selling prices rose at about the same pace as last month. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms remained positive about future conditions, though they were less optimistic than in June.
Growth Continues, Though Not Quite as Strongly
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity continued to expand in July. After reaching its highest level in more than two years last month, the general business conditions index retreated ten points to 9.8, indicating that activity grew at a slower rate than in June. Thirty percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 20 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index edged down five points, but at 13.3, it still showed that orders increased at a fairly solid clip. The shipments index fell twelve points to 10.5, suggesting that shipments grew, but at a slower pace than last month. The unfilled orders index dropped below zero. The delivery time index was little changed at 4.7, pointing to somewhat longer deliver times, and the inventories index fell to 2.4.
Pace of Price Increases Little Changed
The index for number of employees fell for a third consecutive month, though it remained positive at 3.9—a sign that employment was growing, but not as rapidly as in earlier months. The average workweek index fell to zero, indicating that hours worked remained the same. The prices paid index was little changed at 21.3, as was the prices received index at 11.0, suggesting that the pace of price increases held steady.
Optimism Declines Somewhat
Indexes assessing the six-month outlook remained favorable, though firms were somewhat less optimistic about future conditions than in June. The index for future business conditions fell seven points to 34.9, and the index for future new orders fell nine points to 33.4. Employment was expected to increase modestly, though the average workweek was expected to decline slightly. The capital expenditures index slipped to 15.0, and the technology spending index was 11.8.
Posted: July 17, 2017 Monday 08:30 AM