March Empire State Survey Shows Steady Expansion for Manufacturing

Written by Sandy Williams

The March Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed business continuing to expand at a sound pace in New York State. The general business index registered 16.4, a decline of two points from its two year high last month. The new orders index gained 7.8 points, climbing to 21.3 for its highest reading since 2009.

Shipments continued to increase in March but at a slower pace, recording a seven point drop to 11.3. Unfilled orders were up 6 points to 14.2, its highest level since 2004. Delivery times lengthened and inventories moved lower during March.

Positive news on the employment front: the index rose 6.8 points to register 8.8 in March along with improvements in the average workweek length.

Pricing increases moderated with prices paid falling seven points, and prices received down 11 points.

New York manufacturers continue to be “highly optimistic” about future business conditions although the future business conditions index crept downward four points to 37.4. Employment levels are expected to rise over the next six months. More firms are expecting to increase capital expenditures while technology spending fell 8 points to 8.0.

SMU Note: Below is a graphic showing the history of the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. To use the graphs interactive capabilities, you must view it on our website here. If you need help navigating the website or need to know your login information, contact us at or by calling 800-432-3475.

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