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Empire State Manufacturing Survey: New York Business Is Improving

05/17/2010
Manufacturing conditions continued to improve for the tenth straight month in New York according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey released today. While the general business conditions index fell 13 points to 19.1, and new orders and shipments indexes also dropped, all indices remained at positive levels. The inventories index dropped close to zero after rising in March and April. The prices paid index reached its highest point so far this year. And the index for number of employees grew for the fifth consecutive month.

Manufacturers reported that the prices they paid for inputs rose nearly 6 percent over the past year, with a median increase of 3 percent. They anticipated a median increase of 4 percent for the coming year. Companies forecast a 2.9 percent average increase in selling prices and a 3 percent median growth.

While the general business conditions index dropped, it marked the tenth consecutive month of improving business. Still, the pace of economic growth dropped in May, the new orders index fell 15 points to 14.3, and the shipments index fell 21 points to 11.3. The inventories index dropped 10 points to 1.3, and inventory levels remain steady.

The future general business conditions index dropped to 42.1 from 55.7 last month. Future inventories dropped to below zero for the first time since October, suggesting that inventory levels would not rise in the coming months. Overall, New York manufacturers expect business to improve in the next six months.

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