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Conditions for N.Y. manufacturers improve modestly

Business activity continued to expand at a modest pace in February for New York manufacturers, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey reports.

The general business conditions index edged down two points to 7.8 in February, suggesting conditions for the state’s manufacturers improved modestly for a second consecutive month. Twenty-nine percent of respondents reported conditions had improved, while 21 percent said conditions had worsened.

The new orders index fell five points to 1.2. The shipments index climbed five points to 14.1, signaling shipments increased at a faster pace this month. The unfilled orders index remained negative at minus 6.7.

At 1.1, the delivery time index suggested delivery times had not shortened as in previous months, but rather were little changed. The inventories index, at minus 2.3, showed inventory levels were slightly lower.

The prices paid index inched up two points to 14.6, signaling a moderate increase in input prices for a fifth consecutive month. The prices received index fell nine points to 3.4, indicating the pace of selling price increases slowed.

The index for number of employees dipped four points to 10.1, while the average workweek index came in at minus 1.1.

The index for future general business conditions plunged 23 points to 25.6, its lowest level in more than two years.

The future prices paid index fell several points to 27, and the future prices received index declined 10 points to 5.6, its lowest level in more than five years.

The index for expected number of employees, though lower, remained positive at 24.7. The capital expenditures index surged 18 points to 32.6, its highest level in more than three years, and the technology spending index rose to 19.1.

(c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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