Manufacturing Optimism Plunges in Empire State Survey

Written by Sandy Williams

Manufacturing in New York State continued to expand in April, but at a slower pace, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Survey participants expressed apprehension about future business conditions.

The general business conditions index fell seven points from its March reading to register 15.8.  New orders and shipments declined 7.8 and 9.5 points, respectively.

New York firms reported delivery times were longer and inventories continued to accumulate. Employment indicators showed a small increase in hiring and significantly longer work weeks.

The prices paid index fell three points to 47.4 from last month’s multi-year high. The prices received index dipped 1.7 points to 20.7 in April, indicating a moderate selling price increase.

The index for future business conditions plunged 25.8 points to a reading of 18.3 and to its lowest level in more than two years. The future input prices index reached a several-year high in March and was little changed in April, indicating that firms expect prices to continue to increase in the coming months. Prices paid are also expected to increase. The index for capital expenditures declined for the third month, dropping 4.2 points in April to 25.2.

About the Survey:

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey is sent each month by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to about 200 executives in a wide range of New York State industries. The main index, General Business Conditions, is a distinct question on the survey, while other indicators are weighted averages. Positive readings show growth while a negative index reading indicates contraction. Approximately 100 responses are received each month.

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