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Survey: NY Manufacturing Steady And Getting Stronger

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates conditions for New York manufacturers are continuing to improve at a steady pace in March.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the general business conditions index remained near its February level of 22.9.

The new orders index rose sharply, and the shipments index climbed as well. The inventories index rose above zero for the first time in considerably more than a year. The indexes for both prices paid and prices received were positive and close to last month's levels.

Manufacturers generally reported steady to declining borrowing needs over the past year: 28 percent said borrowing needs had decreased in the past year, while 19 percent said they had decreased over the past three months.

In response to questions on recent changes in credit availability, 24 percent of firms reported some tightening over the past year-down noticeably from 39 percent in a similar survey conducted last October-while just 11 percent noted some easing.

A related question about such changes over the past three months showed 17 percent of firms noting tighter credit standards and 13 percent noting easier credit. Respondents also reported rising borrowing costs and steady to declining limits on existing lines of credit.

According to a press release, future indexes strongly suggest that New York manufacturers expect conditions to improve further in the months ahead. The future general business conditions index rose to 54.3, with 64 percent of respondents anticipating better conditions over the next six months.

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