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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions expanded at the same brisk pace in July
Business activity continued to grow at a fairly brisk pace in New York State, according to firms responding to the July 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index edged down by over two points to 22.6—still a high level, suggesting a continuation of robust growth. The new orders index dipped three points to 18.2, while the shipments index fell nine points to 14.6, pointing to a modest pullback in growth of orders and shipments. Delivery times continued to rise, and inventories fell marginally. Labor market indicators pointed to continued sturdy growth in employment and a modest increase in the workweek. The prices paid index slipped ten points to 42.7—still a fairly high level indicative of widespread ongoing input price pressures; the prices received index was little changed at 22.2, signaling continued moderate increases in selling prices. Looking ahead, firms were slightly less optimistic about the six-month outlook than they were last month.
Business Activity Continues to Expand
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded at about the same brisk pace as in June. The general business conditions index, which had climbed to an eight-month high in June, edged back down just over two points to 22.6. Roughly 40 percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 17 percent indicated they had worsened. The new orders index dipped three points to 18.2, while the shipments index fell nine points to 14.6, suggesting only a modest deceleration in orders and shipments. Unfilled orders leveled off, and inventories edged down. Delivery times continued to lengthen, though by a narrower margin than in recent months.
Hiring Continues at a Moderate Pace
The index for number of employees, which had climbed to its highest level of the year in June, edged back two points to 17.2, pointing to ongoing moderate growth in employment. The average workweek index fell six points to 5.6, suggesting more modest increases in hours worked than in recent months. Price increases remained widespread. The prices paid index retreated ten points from last month’s measure, just below May’s multiyear high, but remained elevated at 42.7. The prices received index was little changed at 22.2, signaling ongoing moderate rises in selling prices.
Firms Slightly Less Optimistic
Optimism about the six-month outlook slipped this month. The index for future business conditions fell eight points to 31.1, essentially reversing last month’s gain. Manufacturers continue to expect fairly swift increases in employment in the months ahead, and the indexes for future prices remained elevated. The index for planned capital expenditures fell ten points to 17.1, and the technology spending index slipped eight points to 9.4; both are at their lowest levels in roughly a year.
Posted: July 16, 2018 Monday 08:30 AM