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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions continued to grow at a solid clip in December
Business activity continued to grow at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the December 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index, at 18.0, remained close to last month’s level. The new orders index and the shipments index both showed sustained strong gains, with the former holding steady at 19.5 and the latter edging up to 22.4. Delivery times were slightly longer than last month, and inventory levels were stable. Labor market indicators pointed to a small increase in employment but no change in hours worked. Both input prices and selling prices rose at a somewhat faster pace than last month. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms remained optimistic about future business conditions.
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity continued to expand strongly. The general business conditions index was little changed at 18.0. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 19 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index held steady at 19.5, and the shipments index rose four points to 22.4—readings that indicated ongoing solid growth in orders and shipments. The unfilled orders index moved down four points to -8.7, reflecting a decline in unfilled orders. The delivery time index climbed into positive territory, indicating that delivery times lengthened, and the inventories index fell to 1.4, a sign that inventory levels were steady.
Price Increases Pick Up
The index for number of employees fell six points to 5.1, a level suggesting a small increase in employment levels. The average workweek index was zero, indicating that hours worked were unchanged. Prices increased at a faster pace than last month: the prices paid index climbed five points to 29.7, and the prices received index edged up two points to 11.6.
Firms Remain Optimistic about Future Conditions
Looking ahead, firms remained optimistic about the six-month outlook, though to a somewhat lesser extent than in November. The index for future business conditions fell three points to 46.6. After advancing to its highest level in several years last month, the index for future new orders declined thirteen points to 41.1. The index for future number of employees rose eight points to 29.0, its highest level in nearly a year, and the capital expenditures index climbed nine points to 34.1, a multiyear high.
Posted: December 15, 2017 Friday 08:30 AM