New York Area Manufacturing Unexpectedly Falls

The Empire State manufacturing survey for September is out and the headline number fell to 6.29 in September, from 8.24 the previous month.

This would suggest that manufacturing conditions in New York deteriorated from August. But the number continues to show growth.

“The September 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey suggests that conditions for New York manufacturers improved modestly for the fourth straight month. The general business conditions index edged down two points but, at 6.3, remained in positive territory. The new orders index inched up two points to 2.4, while the shipments index jumped nearly fifteen points to 16.4 — its highest level in considerably more than a year. The prices paid index was little changed at 21.5, while the prices received index climbed another five points to 8.6. Labour market conditions were mostly steady; the index for number of employees retreated three points to 7.5 and the average workweek index edged down to a neutral reading of 1.1. Indexes for the six-month outlook revealed increasingly widespread optimism about future business activity. The future general business conditions index rose for the third straight month, climbing three points to 40.6, its highest level since the spring of 2012.

“In response to a series of supplementary questions, manufacturers reported that their selling prices had risen by a little less than 1 per cent, on average, over the past year, and they predicted an increase of 1.5 per cent, on average, over the next twelve months. These increases roughly matched those reported in last September’s parallel survey. When asked a separate question about the probability of specified price changes over the next twelve months, the average respondent cited a 44 per cent chance that selling prices would remain within 2 per cent of current levels and a 43 per cent chance that they would rise by 2 per cent or more, but just a 3 per cent chance that they would rise by at least 8 per cent. For more details, see the full supplemental report.”

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