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Conditions weaken for New York manufacturers

Rochester Business Journal
November 15, 2013

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey for November indicates conditions have weakened somewhat for New York manufacturers.

After slowly drifting downward since July, the general business conditions index fell below zero for the first time since May, slipping four points to minus 2.2. This month, 23 percent of respondents reported conditions had improved while 25 percent reported they had worsened.

The new orders index also moved below zero, falling 13 points to minus 5.5. The shipments index fell 14 points to minus 0.5, and the unfilled orders index declined 11 points to minus 17.1. The delivery time index rose seven points to minus 4, and the inventories index was little changed at minus 1.3.

The index for number of employees drifted downward for a third consecutive month, coming in at zero in November. The average workweek index fell nine points to minus 5.3. The prices paid index fell five points to 17.1, while the prices received index fell six points to minus 4.

The future general business conditions index fell three points, but remained at a respectably high level of 37.5, the reports states. The future new orders index climbed three points to 40.3, its highest level in more than a year, and the future shipments index rose six points to 37.8.

The future prices paid index fell to 42.1, and the future prices received index dropped eight points to 17.1.

The index for expected number of employees surged 15 points to 22.4, though the future average workweek index fell to minus 4. The capital expenditures index declined six points to 9.2, and the technology spending index was little changed at 13.2.

Supplementary questions in the latest survey focused on recent and expected changes in the prices paid by firms for several major budget categories, including employee benefits, insurance, energy and wages.

Manufacturers, on average, predicted that prices paid for most budget categories would increase at a somewhat faster pace in 2014 than in 2013.

Prices paid overall were reported to have risen 3.4 percent on average in 2013 and were expected to increase 4 percent in 2014. When asked about expected changes in the prices they charge, firms predicted an average increase of 1.8 percent in 2014.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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