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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions grew modestly in April
Business activity grew modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the April 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index rose six points to 10.1, indicating that growth picked up somewhat but remained fairly subdued. New orders rose slightly, and shipments continued to grow modestly. Delivery times and inventories both increased. Labor market indicators pointed to ongoing employment gains and a small increase in hours worked. The prices paid and prices received indexes moved lower, pointing to a slowing in both input price increases and selling price increases. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms were much less optimistic about future business conditions than last month.
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded modestly. The general business conditions index increased six points to 10.1, indicating growth picked up somewhat but remained fairly subdued. Thirty-three percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 23 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index rose five points to 7.5, indicating orders picked up slightly. The shipments index edged up a point to 8.6, pointing to continued modest growth in shipments. Unfilled orders were little changed, while delivery times and inventories both increased.
Price Increases Slow
The prices paid index fell seven points to 27.3 and the prices received index declined four points to 14.0, indicating that both input price increases and selling price increases slowed. The index for number of employees edged down two points to 11.9, pointing to ongoing employment gains. After dipping into negative territory last month, the average workweek index rose eight points to 4.3, suggesting hours worked increased slightly.
Optimism about the six-month outlook was much lower than last month. The index for future business conditions dropped seventeen points to 12.4—its lowest level in more than three years. The indexes for future new orders and shipments were also well below last month’s levels. Nonetheless, firms continued to expect solid increases in employment and hours worked in the months ahead. The capital expenditures index edged down to 25.2, and the technology spending index was unchanged at 20.3.
Posted: April 15, 2019 Monday 08:30 AM