Empire State Manufacturing Improves in May

Written by Sandy Williams

Manufacturing activity in New York State was strong in May, according to the latest Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported the general business conditions index rose four points to 20.1 for a faster pace of growth than April. Forty percent of survey respondents said business conditions had improved during the month, compared to 20 percent who said conditions had worsened.

The index for new orders gained seven points, posting a reading of 16.0, while shipments rose 1.6 points to 19.1. Delivery times continued to lengthen and backlogs increased. Inventories expanded slightly.

Input prices continued to be high with the prices paid index at 54.0, its highest level since 2011. The index for selling prices showed a moderate increase in May, gaining two points to register 23.0.

The future business outlook plunged in April to 18.3 from levels that were above 40 for most of the last 18 months. The May survey, however, showed an increase in optimism with the index gaining 13 points to register 31.1.

The Employment index was up slightly in May indicating a modest increase in employment levels and hours worked.

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 its interactive features; you can do so by clicking here. If you need assistance logging in to or navigating the website, please contact Brett at 706-216-2140 or

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