Empire State Manufacturing Index Sluggish in March

Written by Sandy Williams

The March Empire State Manufacturing Survey rose slightly to 5.61 from 4.48 in February, below economist expectations of 6.0 to 7.0. New orders increased to 3.13 after contracting to -0.21 last month.

Shipments rose to 3.97, up from 2.13 in February. Inventories increased during the month evidenced by an index reading of 7.06 compared to a contraction in February to -5.00. The backlog of orders registered -16.47 compared to -6.25 in February.

The indexes for prices paid and prices received showed slowing in March. The prices paid index fell four points to 21.2 while the prices received index dropped 13 points to 2.4.

The employment index indicated a small increase in employment levels after falling five points to 4.9. Work week hours held steady with the index at 4.7 in March.

The outlook for the next six months continues to be optimistic but New York manufacturers are slightly more cautious. Manufacturers are expecting tighter conditions with all indices falling except prices received and prices paid which increased slightly from last month’s forecast.

Although more than half of manufacturers are expecting capital expenditures and technology spending to remain the same, more respondents in March said they expect those expenditures to be higher in the next six months.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey is conducted monthly by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. An index reading above zero indicates growth.

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{amchart id=”117″ Empire State Manufacturing Index}

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