Empire State Manufacturing Shows Only Slight Improvement in May

Written by Sandy Williams

Business conditions improved for New York manufacturers in May but optimism faltered for future conditions.

The May 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey general business index climbed four points to 3.1, indicating a slight improvement for the month but below forecasts by economists. The new orders index was in positive territory for the first time since February, rising ten points to 3.9. The shipments index was relatively unchanged at 14.9.

The unfilled orders index was similar to last month’s reading but delivery times shortened according to an index reading of -10.4. Manufacturers reported a rise in inventories during the month, with the inventory index increasing to 7.3.

Prices paid were at their lowest level in nearly three years; the index dropped ten points to 9.4. Prices received were flat for the month. Employment levels were up slightly but hours worked per week retreated somewhat.

Future indexes for for general business, new orders and shipments were all below 2014 levels. Future new orders remained steady for the monthat 33.9 while future shipments showed little change.

New York manufacturers are expecting prices to increase but be less widespread in the coming months. Less inclination towards capital expenditures and technology spending was reported.

The Empire State Manufacturing Index is conducted monthly by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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