Empire State Manufacturing Survey Shows Improvement for New York Firms

Written by Sandy Williams

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey recorded its first positive reading since July of 2015. The March general business conditions index rose 17 points to 0.6 bolstered by increases in new orders and shipments. New orders jumped 21 points to 9.6 after several months of decline. Shipments surged 25 points to register 13.9

Survey results suggest input prices rose slightly in March while selling prices inched slightly downward. Inventories levels declined as indicated by a drop to -6.9 on the inventory index.

Employment levels held relatively steady in March, edging down slightly to -2.0. Average workweek also remained steady for the month.

The six month outlook held optimism for improved business activity. The futures business conditions index climbed 11 points to 25.5. Future new orders gained 17 points and future shipments ten points.

Both capital expenditures and technology spending recorded index increases, posting at 15.8 and 9.9, respectively.

“The New York Fed district makes up a small minority of the overall manufacturing sector, but we think that the return to positive territory this month is a harbinger of better overall manufacturing data to come,” wrote Jefferies’ Ward McCarthy and Thomas Simons. “However, we also expect that the rebound in the sector will be choppy and erratic.”

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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