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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions expanded slightly in November 2020
Business activity expanded in New York State, though only slightly, according to firms responding to the November 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell four points to 6.3, pointing to a slower pace of growth than in October. There was a small increase in new orders, and shipments were modestly higher. Inventories moved lower, and delivery times were steady. Employment levels and hours worked both rose. Input prices increased at about the same pace as last month, while selling price increases picked up. Looking ahead, firms remained optimistic that conditions would improve over the next six months.
Manufacturing activity in New York State expanded only to a small degree in November. After falling seven points last month, the general business conditions index fell four points to 6.3 this month, indicating that growth continued to slow. Thirty-one percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 24 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index fell nine points to 3.7, indicating a slight increase in orders, and the shipments index fell twelve points to 6.3. Delivery times were little changed, while unfilled orders and inventories continued to decline.
Ongoing Gains in Employment
The index for number of employees rose two points to 9.4, its highest level in nearly a year, indicating a modest increase in employment levels. After rising sharply last month, the average workweek index fell eleven points to 4.8, its positive value signaling a small increase in hours worked. The prices paid index was little changed at 29.1, a sign that input prices rose at the same pace as last month. The prices received index moved up six points to 11.3, indicating a pickup in selling price increases.
Firms Remain Optimistic
The index for future business conditions held steady at 33.9, suggesting that firms remained optimistic about future conditions. The index for future new orders was positive but slightly lower than last month. Employment levels and the average workweek are expected to continue to increase in the months ahead. Indexes for future prices paid and prices received both picked up for a second consecutive month. The capital expenditures and technology spending indexes both climbed to 17.9, suggesting ongoing planned increases in spending on capital and technology.
Posted: November 16, 2020 Monday 08:30 AM