Manufacturing Pace Slows in Empire State Survey

Written by Sandy Williams

Manufacturing activity continued to expand in New York during October, but at a slower pace. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey general business index slipped seven points to 10.5, decreasing more than expected by analysts.

New orders and shipments continued to expand and unfilled orders declined. Inventories were a little leaner and delivery times remained steady. Input prices increased at the same pace as September and selling prices were up slightly.

Employment metrics were higher in October with number of employees and hours worked both improving. The index for number of employees jumped five points to 7.2 and the average workweek index rose nine points to a multi-year high of 16.1.

The future business conditions index fell eight points to 32.8, indicating firms were somewhat less optimistic about the next six months. Indexes for shipments and new orders in the coming months followed suit, slipping by 9.2 points and 1.4 points, respectively. More hiring is on the horizon, but firms expressed caution on capital expenditures and technology.

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