The New York Fed’s February Empire State Manufacturing survey is out.The headline index surged to 10.04 in February, way past economists’ estimates of a slighter rise to -2.00 from last month’s -7.78 reading.
Below is a summary of the data from the release:
The February 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers improved for the ﬁrst time since the summer of last year. The general business conditions index rose into positive territory, advancing eighteen points to 10.0.
The new orders index also rose sharply, climbing 20 points to 13.3, and the shipments index increased to 13.1. The prices paid index pointed to a continued acceleration in selling prices, and the prices received index, while positive, inched lower. The index for number of employees rose for a third consecutive month and, at 8.1, registered its ﬁrst positive reading since September, though the average workweek index remained negative. Indexes for the six-month outlook were noticeably higher and suggested a ﬁ rming in the level of optimism about future business conditions.
In a series of supplementary questions, manufacturers were asked about their 2013 capital spending plans and how the plans compared with actual spending for 2012. Roughly the same proportion of respondents indicated that they expected to raise as to lower capital spending this year. However, the median amount budgeted for 2013 was up 11 per cent from what had reportedly been spent in 2012. The most widely cited factor constraining 2013 capital investment plans was tax and regulatory considerations. In the February 2012 and 2011 surveys, more respondents had identiﬁed this as a positive than a negative factor.