May 2021 Empire State Manufacturing Index Declines

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey index marginally declined but remained in expansion.

Analyst Opinion of Empire State Manufacturing Survey

Key elements are in positive territory and all improved. This report is considered about the same as 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 20.0 to 30.0 (consensus +25.0) versus the 24.3 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 and remains in expansion
  • This noisy index has moved from -48.5 (May 2020), -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), 12.1 (February), 17.4 (March) , 26.3 (April) - and now 24.3

Business activity continued to grow at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the May 2021 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index was little changed at 24.3. New orders and shipments continued to expand strongly, and unfilled orders increased. Delivery times lengthened significantly, and inventories moved somewhat higher. Employment levels grew modestly, and the average workweek increased. Both input prices and selling prices rose at a record-setting pace. Looking ahead, firms remained optimistic that conditions would improve over the next six months, and expected significant increases in employment and prices.

ACTIVITY REMAINS VIGOROUS

As occurred last month, manufacturing activity grew at a sturdy pace in New York State in May. The general business conditions index edged down two points to 24.3. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 13 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index moved up two points to 28.9, a multi-year high, and the shipments index climbed five points to 29.7, pointing to another month of strong gains in orders and shipments. Unfilled orders increased. The delivery times index moved down five points, but at 23.6, it held near its record high from last month, pointing to significantly longer delivery times. Inventories moved somewhat higher.

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