February 2021 Empire State Manufacturing Index Improves

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey index improved and remained in expansion.

Analyst Opinion of Empire State Manufacturing Survey

Key elements improved. This is considered a stronger report than last month.

Econintersect reminds you that this is a survey (a quantification of opinion). Please see the 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 4.2 to 10.0 (consensus +5.7) versus the 12.1 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 expansion, whilst the unfilled orders improved but remain in contraction
  • This noisy index has moved from 12.9 (February 2020), -21.5 (March), -78.2 (April), -48.5 (May), -0.2 (June), 17.2 (July), 3.7 (August), 17.0 (September), 10.5 (October), 6.3 (November), 4.9 (December), 3.5 (January 2021) - and now 12.1

Business activity grew modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the February 2021 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed nine points to 12.1, its highest level in several months. New orders increased, and shipments edged higher. Delivery times lengthened, and inventories grew. Employment levels and the average workweek both increased. Input prices rose at the fastest clip in nearly a decade, and selling prices increased significantly. Looking ahead, firms remained optimistic that conditions would improve over the next six months, and capital spending plans expanded noticeably.


Manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in months in New York State in February. The general business conditions index rose nine points to 12.1, its highest level since July of last year. Thirty-two percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 20 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index rose four points to 10.8, indicating that orders increased, and the shipments index fell to 4.0, pointing to a small increase in shipments. Delivery times rose at the fastest pace in a year, and inventories were higher.

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