Research >> Economics
Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions expanded modestly in October 2020
Business activity expanded modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the October 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell seven points to 10.5, pointing to a slower pace of growth than in September. New orders and shipments continued to increase, while unfilled orders continued to decline. Inventories moved lower, and delivery times were little changed. Manufacturers reported a small increase in employment, and a significantly longer average workweek. Input prices increased at about the same pace as last month, and selling prices continued to increase slightly. Looking ahead, firms remained optimistic that conditions would improve over the next six months, though optimism was somewhat lower than last month.
Activity Continues to Expand
Manufacturing activity in New York State grew modestly in October. The general business conditions index fell seven points to 10.5, its fourth consecutive positive reading. Thirty-six percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 25 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index climbed five points to 12.3, and the shipments index rose four points to 17.8, indicating ongoing gains in orders and shipments. Delivery times were little changed, while unfilled orders and inventories declined.
Average Workweek Substantially Longer This Month
The index for number of employees moved up five points to 7.2, indicating that employment levels grew. The average workweek index rose nine points to 16.1, a multi-year high, signaling a significant increase in hours worked. The prices paid index was little changed at 27.8, a sign that input prices rose at the same pace as last month. The prices received index held fairly steady at 5.3, indicating a small increase in selling prices for a second consecutive month.
Firms Remain Optimistic
The index for future business conditions fell eight points to 32.8, suggesting that firms remained optimistic about future conditions, but were somewhat less positive than last month. The indexes for future new orders and future shipments posted similar readings. The index for future employment climbed to 23.2, with 35 percent expecting to increase employment levels in the months ahead. The capital expenditures and technology spending indexes both fell to 11.9.
Posted: October 15, 2020 Thursday 08:30 AM