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Empire State Manufacturing Survey Conditions expanded at a solid clip in September
Business activity continued to grow at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the September 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index showed ongoing strength, but moved down seven points to 19.0, pointing to a slower pace of growth than last month. New orders and shipments grew moderately. Delivery times continued to lengthen, and inventories moved higher. Labor market indicators pointed to an increase in employment levels and longer workweeks. Price indexes were little changed and remained elevated, suggesting ongoing significant increases in both input prices and selling prices. Looking ahead, firms remained fairly optimistic about the six-month outlook.
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded in September. The general business conditions index dipped seven points to 19.0, suggesting that while the pace of growth was slower than last month, it remained sturdy. Forty percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 21 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index was little changed at 16.5, and the shipments index fell eleven points to 14.3—readings that reflected moderate growth. Unfilled orders increased, inventories climbed, and delivery times continued to lengthen.
The index for number of employees held steady at 13.3 and the average workweek index was 11.5, indicating a modest increase in both employment levels and hours worked. Price increases remained elevated. The prices paid index held steady at 46.3, and the prices received index came in at 16.3.
Firms Remain Fairly Optimistic
Firms remained moderately optimistic about the six-month outlook, though optimism in recent months has been more temperate than earlier this year. The index for future business conditions declined five points to 30.3. The indexes for future unfilled orders and future delivery times both remained negative, suggesting that businesses expect fewer unfilled orders and shorter delivery times. Inventories were expected to hold steady, and employment levels were expected to increase in the months ahead. The capital expenditures index edged moved down seven points to 19.5, and the technology spending index fell two points to 10.6.
Posted: September 17, 2018 Monday 08:30 AM