Manufacturing Sluggish in New York, Philadelphia

Written by Sandy Williams

Manufacturing activity in New York State changed very little from October to November. The general business conditions component of the Empire State Manufacturing Index posted a 2.9 for November, indicating sluggish manufacturing growth for the sixth consecutive month.

The shipments index fell four points to 8.8 and new orders increased slightly to 5.5, still above the 0.0 level indicating growth. Unfilled orders continued to decline. Inventories were moderately lower and shorter delivery times were reported.

Input price growth continued to decelerate, while prices received remained steady. Employment expanded for the third month in a row with survey participants reporting a slightly longer work week.

Business optimism remained subdued, recording a future business conditions index reading of 19.4. Manufacturers plan to increase capital expenditures and technology spending, with the corresponding indexes rising 10.4 and 6.3 points, respectively.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia posted a generally positive report for November. General activity in the region increased from October, but declines were noted in new orders, shipments and employment.

The Philly Index reported that the general activity index rose 5 points to 10.4 after decreasing 6 points in October. Nearly 52 percent of firms surveyed expect an increase in activity over the next six months.

“Overall, the trend in manufacturing remains mixed at levels well below last year’s levels amid trade uncertainty. This report confirmed continued uncertainty in the sector,” said T.J. Connelly, head of research at Contingent Macro, in a note to MarketWatch.

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