Written by: Sandy Williams
The general business conditions index in New York dropped less than one point to 9.2 in March from 10.0 in February as registered by the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. New orders were positive in March although the index slipped five points to 8.2. Shipments rose at a slower pace for the month registering at 7.8 from 13.0. Delivery time and inventory indexes both fell below the zero point to -2.2 and -5.4 in March.
The prices paid index was relatively unchanged at 25.8 suggesting that input costs were keeping pace. Selling prices were flat for March as indicated by a 6 point drop in the selling prices received index. Employment levels fell in March but were still above the neutral point.
Manufacturers’ confidence continued to surge in New York as indicated by a three point rise to 36.4 in the future general business index—the highest level in nearly a year. Future new orders and shipment indexes rose and manufacturers indicated they expect to see increases in input and selling prices. Employment levels are expected to continue to rise. Capital expenditures remained steady at 15.1 while technology spending rose by seven points to 18.3.
In a supplemental survey, manufacturers reported they are holding lower cash balances and expect those holdings to decline in the coming year. Debt levels are expected to rise in 2013.
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