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Manufacturing conditions deteriorate, survey finds

Rochester Business Journal
May 15, 2013

Conditions for New York manufacturers declined marginally in May, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey shows.

After three months of modestly positive readings, the general business conditions index fell four points to -1.4 in May, pointing to a slight deterioration in business conditions for New York manufacturers for the first time since January. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported conditions had improved over the month, while 26 percent reported conditions had worsened.

The new orders index also fell below zero, declining three points to -1.2. The shipments index was little changed, holding at zero. The unfilled orders index declined three points to -6.8. The delivery time index was unchanged at -3.4, and the inventories index fell three points to -8.0.

The prices paid index fell eight points to 20.5. The prices received index remained close to its April reading at 4.6. The index for number of employees, little changed at 5.7, indicated a small increase in employment levels. The average workweek index, down seven points to -1.1, showed a slight reduction in the length of the average workweek.

The future general business conditions index declined for a second consecutive month, dropping six points to 25.5. The future new orders index fell seven points to 28.8, and the future shipments index fell fourteen points to 25.2.

The future prices paid index retreated 15 points to 29.6 and the future prices received index was unchanged at 14.8. The index for expected number of employees fell 14 points to 11.4, and the future average workweek index fell to 1.1. The capital expenditures index climbed two points to 22.7, and the technology spending index was little changed at 11.4.

In a series of supplementary survey questions, firms were asked about past and expected changes in both the prices they paid for inputs and the prices they charged their customers. In the current survey, respondents, on average, expected the prices they paid to climb by 2.8 percent—the smallest anticipated rise since May 2009. The average respondent anticipated an increase of just 1.2 percent in prices received—the smallest expected increase recorded since these questions were first asked in May 2007.

(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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