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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions continued to grow strongly in November
Business activity continued to grow strongly in New York State, according to firms responding to the November 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. Though the headline general business conditions index fell eleven points from the multiyear high it reached last month, it remained firmly in positive territory at 19.4. The new orders index climbed to 20.7 and the shipments index came in at 18.4—readings that pointed to ongoing solid gains in orders and shipments. Delivery times were slightly shorter than last month, and inventory levels edged higher. Labor market indicators reflected moderate employment gains and little change in hours worked. Both input prices and selling prices rose at a pace that was little changed from last month. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms were very optimistic about future business conditions.
Activity Remains Strong
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity continued to expand strongly. After reaching a three-year high last month, the general business conditions index fell eleven points to 19.4, suggesting a pace of growth that, while brisk, was slower than in October. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 17 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index moved up three points to 20.7, indicating solid growth in orders. After advancing to a multiyear high last month, the shipments index fell nine points to 18.4. The unfilled orders index moved down seven points to -4.6, pointing to a small decline in unfilled orders. The delivery time index fell five points to -5.4, indicating shorter delivery times, and the inventories index rose twelve points to 4.6, a sign that inventory levels increased modestly.
Employment Levels Continue to Escalate
The index for number of employees fell four points to 11.5, suggesting that employment expanded, though at a somewhat slower pace than last month. The average workweek index remained near zero, indicating that hours worked held steady. Prices increased at about the same pace as last month: the prices paid index edged down slightly to 24.6, and the prices received index inched up to 9.2.
Looking ahead, firms were very optimistic about the six-month outlook. The index for future business conditions climbed five points to 49.9, and the index for future new orders rose nine points to 53.7, a multiyear high. Employment and the average workweek were expected to increase in the months ahead. The capital expenditures index climbed four points to 25.4, and the technology spending index fell six points to 10.8.
Posted: November 15, 2017 Wednesday 08:30 AM