Empire State Manufacturing Survey Still Negative but Improving

Written by Sandy Williams

Manufacturing activity in the New York area declined for the fifth consecutive month in December. The rate of decline slowed somewhat as indicated by the headline general business index of the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, climbing six points to register -4.6.

The new orders continued to fall to an index reading of -5.1. Shipments, however, improved for the first time since summer, rising 10 points to 5.5. Unfilled orders gained two points, moving up to -16.2 along with a three point increase on the delivery index to -8.1.

Manufacturers continued to reduce inventory levels in December. The inventories index remained well below the neutral point at -12.1.

The pricing indexes suggest input prices rose slightly while selling prices moved lower.

Labor conditions deteriorated in December with the index for number of employees, down nine points to -16.2. The average workweek index dropped 13 points to its lowest level since 2009.

Manufacturers were much more optimistic in December regarding the conditions for the next six months. The future business conditions leapt 18 points to 38.5. The future new orders index rose to 27.8 from 20.8 and the future shipments index jumped 13 points.

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

Below is a graph showing the history of the Empire State Manufacturing Index. You will need to view the graph on our website to use it’s interactive features, you can do so by clicking here. If you need assistance with either logging in or navigating the website, please contact our office at 800-432-3475 or

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