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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions expanded strongly in August
Business activity remained robust in New York State, according to firms responding to the August 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed three points to 25.6. New orders and shipments grew strongly, and firms reported an increase in unfilled orders. Delivery times continued to lengthen, and inventories held steady. Labor market indicators pointed to solid gains in employment and longer workweeks. Price indexes were little changed and remained elevated, indicating ongoing significant price increases. Looking ahead, firms stepped up their capital spending plans and were fairly optimistic about the six-month outlook.
Growth Remains Strong
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded strongly in August. The general business conditions index rose three points to 25.6. Forty-two percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 16 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index was little changed at 17.1, and the shipments index rose eleven points to 25.7—readings that reflected strong growth. Unfilled orders increased, and inventories held steady. The delivery time index rose four points to 10.4, indicating that delivery times continued to lengthen.
Price Indexes Remain Elevated
The index for number of employees edged lower, but at 13.1, pointed to a pickup in employment levels. The average workweek index was 8.9, indicating a modest increase in hours worked. Price increases remained elevated. The prices paid index inched up to 45.2, and the prices received index came in at 20.0.
Firms Fairly Optimistic
Firms remained moderately optimistic about the six-month outlook, though less so than earlier this year. The index for future business conditions climbed four points to 34.8. The indexes for future unfilled orders and future delivery times both turned negative, suggesting that businesses expect fewer unfilled orders and shorter delivery times. Employment was expected to increase in the months ahead, and the indexes for future prices remained elevated. The capital expenditures index moved up ten points to 26.7, and the technology spending index rose three points to 12.6.
Posted: August 15, 2018 Wednesday 08:30 AM