Business activity continued to improve in New York State in September. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey general business conditions index soared 13 points to a reading of 17.0, its third consecutive positive reading this year. New orders rose modestly while shipments increased significantly, gaining seven points to register 14.1.
Delivery times lengthened and inventories and unfilled orders remained in contraction. Employee levels held steady in September and the average work week reached its first positive reading since the pandemic began. The average workweek index rose 14 points to register 6.7.
Input prices were on the increase, rising nine points to 25.2, and selling prices edged up to an index reading of 6.5, the highest level since March.
Firms were somewhat more optimistic about future business conditions in the latest survey. The future business conditions index rose six points to 40.3. Firms indicated that they plan to increase employment and capital spending in the months ahead.
Despite the solid results in New York, economists are expecting a lull in manufacturing momentum.
“Manufacturing is growing, but momentum has stalled,” tweeted AIan Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, regarding the New York survey.
A report from the Federal Reserve on Tuesday showed U.S. manufacturing production increased just 1 percent in August after a 3.9 percent gain in July.
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