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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions continued to expand strongly in January
Business activity continued to grow at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the January 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index, at 17.7, was little changed from last month’s level. The new orders index and the shipments index both showed ongoing growth, although at a slower pace than in December. Unfilled orders and delivery times increased slightly, and inventory levels were higher. Labor market conditions pointed to a modest increase in employment and steady workweeks. Both input prices and selling prices increased at a faster pace than last month. Firms remained very optimistic about future business conditions, and capital spending plans were robust.
Conditions Remain Favorable
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity continued to expand strongly. The general business conditions index was little changed at 17.7. Thirty-two percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 15 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index moved down seven points to 11.9, and the shipments index declined nine points to 14.4—readings that indicated ongoing growth in orders and shipments, although at a slower pace than last month. The unfilled orders index climbed into positive territory and, at 4.3, indicated a small increase in unfilled orders. The delivery time index was 3.6, indicating that delivery times lengthened somewhat, and the inventories index rose to 13.8, a sign that inventory levels grew moderately.
Price Increases Pick Up for a Second Consecutive Month
The index for number of employees fell nineteen points to 3.8, a level suggesting only a small increase in employment levels. The average workweek index fell to a level near zero, indicating that hours worked were unchanged. Price increases continued to pick up. The prices paid index climbed seven points to 36.2, and the prices received index moved up ten points to 21.7.
Firms Remain Optimistic about Future Conditions
Looking ahead, firms remained optimistic about the six-month outlook. The index for future business conditions edged up two points to 48.6. The index for future inventories rose to 20.3, a record high, indicating that firms expect to build up inventories significantly in the months ahead. The index for future number of employees rose three points to 26.9, a multiyear high. The capital expenditures index edged up to 34.8, also a multiyear high, suggesting capital spending plans were solid.
Posted: January 16, 2018 Tuesday 08:30 AM