April 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Index Improved

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey index improved and remains in expansion. Overall this survey remains in the lower range of values seen in the last two years.

Analyst Opinion of Empire State Manufacturing Survey

With both the main index and one key sub-index improving, this was a better report than last month.

Econintersect reminds you that this is a survey (a quantification of opinion). Please see caveats at the end of this post. However, sometimes it is better not to look too deeply into the details of a noisy survey as just the overview is all you need to know.

  • Expectations from Econoday were between 5.0 to 11.5 (consensus 6.8) versus the 10.1 reported. Any value above zero shows expansion for the New York area manufacturers.
  • New orders sub-index of the Empire State Manufacturing improved and remains in an expansion, whilst the unfilled orders sub-index improved but remains in contraction
  • This noisy index has moved from 15.8 (April 2018), 20.1 (May), 25.0 (June), 22.6 (July), 25.6 (August), 19.0 (September), 21.1 (October), 23.2 (November), 10.9 (December), 3.9 (January 2019), 8.8 (February), 3.7 (March) - and now 10.1

From the report:

Business activity grew modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the April 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index rose six points to 10.1, indicating that growth picked up somewhat but remained fairly subdued. New orders rose slightly, and shipments continued to grow modestly. Delivery times and inventories both increased. Labor market indicators pointed to ongoing employment gains and a small increase in hours worked. The prices paid and prices received indexes moved lower, pointing to a slowing in both input price increases and selling price increases. Indexes assessing the sixmonth outlook suggested that firms were much less optimistic about future business conditions than last month.

Modest Growth

Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded modestly. The general business conditions index increased six points to 10.1, indicating growth picked up somewhat but remained fairly subdued. Thirty-three percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 23 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index rose five points to 7.5, indicating orders picked up slightly. The shipments index edged up a point to 8.6, pointing to continued modest growth in shipments. Unfilled orders were little changed, while delivery times and inventories both increased.

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