February 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Index Improved

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey index improved and remains in expansion. Overall this survey remains near the lowest values seen in the last year.

Analyst Opinion of Empire State Manufacturing Survey

With both the main index and key indices 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 to deeply into the details of a noisy survey as just the overview is all you need to know

  • Expectations from Econoday were for a reading between 6.0 to 11.5 (consensus 7.0) versus the 8.8 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 sub-index improved but remains in contraction
  • This noisy index has moved from 13.1 (February 2019), 22.5 (March), 15.8 (April), 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) - and now 8.8

From the report:

Business activity grew modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the February 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index moved up five points to 8.8. New orders and shipments also increased modestly. Delivery times were slightly longer, and inventories held steady. Labor market indicators pointed to a slight increase in employment and hours worked. The prices paid index moved lower for a third consecutive month, indicating an ongoing deceleration in input price increases, while the prices received index climbed ten points to reach its highest level in several months, indicating a pickup in selling price increases. After slumping last month, indexes assessing the six-month outlook improved noticeably, suggesting firms were fairly optimistic about future conditions.

BUSINESS ACTIVITY EXPANDS

Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity grew, though like last month, at a significantly slower pace than much of last year. After falling for the prior two months, the general business conditions index rose five points to 8.8. Thirty-two percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 23 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index climbed four points to 7.5. The shipments index came in at 10.4, indicating a decent pace of growth, though the index fell eight points to its lowest level in well over a year. Unfilled orders held steady, inventories were little changed, and delivery times were slightly longer.

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