Empire State Manufacturing Index Falls More than Expected

Written by Sandy Williams

The Empire State Manufacturing Index surprised economists by slipping to 2.0 on the general business index, a three point decline from August.

The new orders index fell three points to 3.5, but remained above zero indicating only slight growth. The shipments index declined four points to 5.8 for it lowest level in nearly three years. The unfilled orders index remained in negative territory for the fourth month in a row. Survey participants reported steady delivery times and higher inventories.

There was an increase in employee numbers in September and little change in the average workweek index.

Prices rose faster in September, climbing six points on the prices paid index and five points on the index for prices received.

New York State manufacturers expressed declining confidence in the six-month outlook of the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The Index for future business conditions fell 12 points to 13.7 as manufacturers predict fewer new orders and shipments.

Commenting on the latest survey, Thomas Simons, senior money market economist at Jeffries, said: “The sector has suffered from the uncertainty caused by the trade war, and there’s been a significant loss in momentum in business investment, but the pullback has now played out to the point where we expect to see data that suggests the sector is drifting sideways.”

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