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Report: NY Manufacturing Activity Robust In April

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey reports that business conditions for New York State manufacturers improved at a rapid pace in April, with the general business conditions index rising 9 points  to 31.9. The statistics indicate improvement will continue over the next six months.

Nearly half of survey respondents reported conditions had improved over the month, while just 16 percent reported that conditions had worsened.

The new orders and shipments indexes advanced and the inventories index climbed to a record high. The prices paid index moved up 12 points to 41.8, its highest level in considerably more than a year, while the prices received index held fairly steady at a level just above zero. Employment indexes rose to high levels, suggesting that employment levels are continuing to improve.

Businesses polled on economic and company issues cited that employee benefit costs, taxes, and government regulation as top challenges. The least problematic include the cost and terms of credit, credit availability and depressed real estate values.

The prices paid index climbed 12 points to 41.8, the highest level since late 2008, with 46 percent of respondents reporting higher prices and just 4 percent reporting lower prices. The prices received index, at 6.3, was little changed from last month.

New York manufacturers are hiring given that the index for number of employees posted a significant gain, rising 8 points to 20.3, its highest level in more than two years.

Looking forward, 66 percent of respondents expect conditions to improve over the next six months, while just 10 percent expected conditions to worsen.

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