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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions Were Flat
The April 2014 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity was flat for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index slipped four points to 1.3. The new orders index fell below zero to -2.8, pointing to a slight decline in orders, and the shipments index was little changed at 3.2. The unfilled orders index remained negative at -13.3, and the inventories index dropped ten points to -3.1. The prices paid index held steady at 22.5, indicating continued moderate input price increases, and the prices received index rose to 10.2, pointing to a pickup in selling price increases. Employment indexes showed a modest rise in employment levels and a slight increase in the average workweek. Indexes for the six-month outlook continued to convey a good deal of optimism about future conditions, and the capital expenditures index climbed seven points to 23.5, its highest level in several months.
Business Activity Flat
Business activity was flat for New York manufacturers, according to the April 2014 survey. The general business conditions index slipped four points to 1.3, with 26 percent of respondents reporting that conditions had improved over the month and 24 percent reporting that conditions had worsened. The new orders index dipped into negative territory, falling six points to -2.8—a sign that orders were slightly lower over the month. The shipments index was little changed at 3.2, pointing to a small increase in shipments, and the unfilled orders index remained negative at -13.3. The delivery time index fell six points to -9.2, indicating that delivery times quickened. The inventories index fell ten points to -3.1, suggesting a slight decline in inventory levels.
Selling Price Increases Pick Up
The prices paid index was little changed, and at 22.5, pointed to continued moderate input price increases. The prices received index climbed eight points to 10.2—evidence of a pickup in the pace of selling price increases. Employment indexes suggested modest improvement in labor market conditions. The index for number of employees inched up to 8.2, indicating a small increase in employment levels, and the average workweek index fell three points to 2.0, pointing to a slight increase in hours worked.
Six-Month Outlook Remains Optimistic
Indexes for the six-month outlook continued to convey a fair amount of optimism about future business conditions. The index for expected general business conditions advanced five points to 38.2. The index for future new orders fell for a second consecutive month, though it remained at a fairly high level of 32.7. The index for future prices paid fell ten points to 33.7, and the index for future prices received posted a similar decline, falling twelve points to 14.3. The index for expected number of employees climbed five points to 22.5, while the index for the expected average workweek fell to 1.0. The capital expenditures index rose seven points to 23.5, its highest level in several months, and the technology spending index moved up seven points to 14.3.
Posted: April 15, 2014 Tuesday 08:30 AM