Empire State Manufacturing Index Remains Firm in December

Written by David Schollaert

Manufacturing in the state of New York saw a strong growth rate in December, exceeding November’s by a slight margin, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index rose 1 point to 31.9 during the month. The index closes out the year on an upbeat note with gains in November and December after falling by 15 points in October.

New YorkNew orders and shipments posted substantial increases, and firms had more unfilled orders, according to the report. Delivery times lengthened significantly, though less so than last month. And labor market indicators pointed to a solid increase in employment and a longer average workweek.

Indices for new orders expanded by 27.1 points this month, down 1.7 from November, while shipments also grew by 27.1 points, 1.1 points lower than last month.

Unfilled orders were slightly higher in December after falling for two straight months to start the quarter. December unfilled orders were at 19.0, up 6.3 points. Delivery times were still extended this month, but moved down 9.1 points to 23.1. The inventories index barely moved month on month, down 0.2 points to a reading of 9.1.

Prices paid waned for the first time in the fourth quarter from 83.0 the month prior to 80.2 in December. Prices received also slipped in December, down by 6.2 points to a reading of 44.6. The number of employees contracted by 4.6 points to 21.4 in December, as did the average workweek index, slipping by 11.0 points to 12.1.

The six-month outlook was largely the same as November, down 0.5 points to 36.4, though optimism remained below levels seen in September and October, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said. New orders fell 4.4 points to a reading of 30.0, while shipments slipped 0.7 points to a measure of 31.5. Decreases in employment and prices are also expected in the coming months.

The capital expenditures index rose 3.3 points to 38.0 in December and the technology spending index moved up to 31.4, suggesting that firms plan significant increases in spending on equipment and technology.

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By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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