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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions were little changed in September
Business activity was little changed in New York State, according to firms responding to the September 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index edged down three points to 2.0. New orders were marginally higher than last month, and shipments grew modestly. Delivery times were steady, and inventories increased. Employment levels expanded, while the average workweek held steady. Both input prices and selling prices increased at a faster pace than last month. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook indicated that optimism about future conditions deteriorated noticeably, and capital spending plans weakened markedly.
Growth Remains Sluggish
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity was little changed from last month. The general business conditions index moved down three points to 2.0. Twenty-seven percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 25 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index fell three points to 3.5, pointing to a small increase in orders. The shipments index fell four points to 5.8, its lowest level in nearly three years. The unfilled orders index remained negative for a fourth consecutive month, indicating that unfilled orders continued to decline. Delivery times were steady, and inventories climbed.
After spending three months in negative territory, the index for number of employees rose to 9.7, pointing to an increase in employment levels, while the average workweek index came in at 1.7, indicating little change in hours worked. Prices increased at a faster pace than last month: the prices paid index moved up six points to 29.4, and the prices received index climbed five points to 9.2.
Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that optimism about future conditions waned. The index for future business conditions fell twelve points to 13.7. The indexes for future new orders and shipments also moved lower. Firms expected increases in employment levels but no change in the average workweek in the months ahead. The capital expenditures index plunged nineteen points to 4.6, its lowest level in three years, and the technology spending index fell to 6.5, also a multi-year low.
Posted: September 16, 2019 Monday 08:30 AM