Empire State Index Muted, But Optimism Rising

Written by Sandy Williams

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated muted business conditions for manufacturers in New York state in December. The general business index gained only 0.6 points.

“As has been the case for the past several months, manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity was little changed over the month. The general business conditions index remained subdued for the seventh consecutive month, coming in at 3.5 in December,” said the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

New orders fell slightly while shipments increased modestly. Unfilled orders continued to decline and delivery times shortened. Inventories were relatively unchanged in December.

The prices paid index fell five points to 15.2 and a multi-year low. The prices received index remained steady at 4.3.

The highlight of the report was the increased confidence expressed by survey participants regarding future business conditions. Optimism increased for the second consecutive month with the future business index up 10 points to 29.8. Manufacturers reported planned increases in capital expenditures and technology spending during the next six months.

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 us at

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