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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions held steady
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions held relatively steady in New York's manufacturing sector in September. The general business conditions index remained positive, although it slipped 3 points to 4.1. The new orders and shipments indexes were both up moderately for the month, at levels signaling stable activity. The prices paid index was positive and little changed from last month, while the prices received index edged up to just above zero. Employment indexes were positive, suggesting that employment levels and the average workweek continued to expand over the month. The degree of optimism about the six-month outlook continued to deteriorate, with the future general business conditions index hitting its lowest level since early 2009.
In response to a series of supplementary questions about past and prospective changes in the selling price of their goods, manufacturers indicated that prices were virtually unchanged, on average, over the past twelve months; in an identical survey conducted last September, the average respondent had reported a decline of 2.1 percent. Looking ahead to the next twelve months, respondents indicated that they expect prices to rise by 1.8 percent, on average—an increase very close to that reported in last year's survey. When asked a separate question about the probability of specified price changes over the next twelve months, respondents, on average, indicated a 46 percent chance that their selling prices would remain within 2 percent of their current levels, and a 36 percent chance that prices would rise by between 2 and 8 percent.
Posted: September 15, 2010 Wednesday 08:30 AM