Research >> Economics
Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions grew at a faster pace in February
Business activity picked up in New York State, according to firms responding to the February 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index moved up eight points to 12.9. The new orders index shot up 16 points to 22.1, and the shipments index climbed to 18.9. Delivery times lengthened, and inventories increased significantly. Employment expanded only modestly, and the average workweek was little changed. Input price increases slowed somewhat, and selling price increases picked up a touch. Optimism about the six-month outlook continued to be somewhat subdued, and capital spending plans remained firm.
Growth Picks Up
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity grew at a faster pace than in recent months. The general business conditions index increased eight points to 12.9, its highest level since May of last year. Thirty-four percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 21 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index climbed 16 points to 22.1, its highest level in well over a year, indicating that orders rose significantly. The shipments index rose ten points to 18.9. Delivery times were longer, and inventories climbed.
Labor Market Indicators Soft
The index for number of employees edged down to 6.6, indicating that employment grew to a small degree. The average workweek held near zero, a sign that the average workweek was little changed. The prices paid index moved down seven points to 25.0, pointing to a slower pace of input price increases this month, while the prices received index edged up two points to 16.7.
Optimism Remains Somewhat Subdued
Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that optimism about future conditions was somewhat restrained. The index for future business conditions was little changed at 22.9. The indexes for future new orders and future shipments edged lower. Employment and hours worked are expected to grow modestly in the months ahead. The capital expenditures index came in at 22.0, and the technology spending index was little changed at 21.2.
Posted: February 18, 2020 Tuesday 08:30 AM