Big miss: The headline empire Fed manufacturing survey report came in at 6.56, well below estimates of 18.00
April’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that manufacturing activity in New York State improved modestly. Although the general business conditions index fell fourteen points, it remained positive at 6.6. The new orders and shipments indexes also remained positive, but showed only a small increase in orders and shipments. The prices paid index inched downward but remained high, and the prices received index climbed six points to 19.3. The index for number of employees rose to its highest level in nearly a year, indicating a significant increase in employment levels, while the average workweek index fell to a level that indicated only a small increase in hours worked. Future indexes remained quite positive, suggesting a strong and persistent degree of optimism about the six-month outlook.
In a series of supplementary survey questions—previously posed in August 2011 and March 2007—respondents were asked how much difficulty they had experienced finding workers proficient in mathematical, computer, interpersonal, and other workplace skills. As was the case last August, the most widespread difficulties were cited for advanced computer skills. One skill category that has reportedly grown harder to find is basic maths. Interestingly, respondents reported at least as much difficulty finding workers with each of these skills than they did prior to the recession, in March 2007. Responses to other supplemental questions indicated that firms expected wages to rise by 2.3 per cent, on average, over the next twelve months, and that, for more than a third of the firms, retaining skilled workers would become increasingly difficult over the next twelve months.
Here’s a chart from some historical perspective:
If you look in the internals the number is a bit better. Employment and sales were both OK, but still that’s a pretty halting drop.
ORIGINAL POST: Let’s start the next round of regional Fed survey 1 releases its April survey.
Analysts are expecting a downtick from 20.21 to 18.00.
We’ll be paying particularly close attention — as we always do — to sales and hiring numbers.
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