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Survey: Business activity grows for N.Y. manufacturers

Business activity continued to grow modestly in New York in January, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates. 

The general business conditions index was little changed at 6.5, its third consecutive positive reading. The new orders index fell seven points to 3.1, and the shipments index held steady at 7.3. The unfilled orders index rose to -1.7, and the delivery time index rose to -2.5. 

The inventories index climbed 16 points to 2.5, signaling a slight increase in inventory levels—the first increase since mid-2015.

The index for the number of employees rose, but held below zero at -1.7, a sign employment levels edged slightly lower; the average workweek index, at -4.2, pointed to a small decline in hours worked. 

The prices paid index advanced 14 points to 36.1, its highest level since 2014. The prices received index also climbed 14 points, rising to 17.6, signaling a pickup in selling price increases.

The index for future business conditions was unchanged at 49.7, matching last month’s multiyear high. Delivery times were expected to be longer, and inventories were expected to increase. 

The index for future employment and the future average workweek indicated firms expected strong growth in employment and hours worked. The capital expenditures index climbed four points to 25.2, and the technology spending index edged up to 14.3. 

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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