Business conditions held steady for New York manufacturers in October, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing survey shows.
On the heels of four consecutive months during which the general business conditions index indicated modest grew, the index fell 5 points to 1.5, suggesting conditions were little changed over the past month. Roughly a quarter of respondents indicated conditions improved, and roughly the same share reported conditions worsened.
The new orders index moved in the opposite direction, rising 5 points to 7.8. The shipments index fell 3 points, but at 13.1 it pointed to a modest increase in shipments. The unfilled orders index was little changed at -6. The delivery time index fell 7 points to -10.8.
The index for number of employees fell for a second consecutive month, but was slightly positive at 3.6. The average workweek index also held above zero, at 3.6. The prices paid index was unchanged at 21.7 and the prices received index fell 6 points to 2.4.
The future general business conditions index held near last month’s year-and-a-half high, at 40.8. The future prices paid index rose 6 points to 45.8 and the future prices received index held steady at 25.3.
Supplementary questions in the survey focused on recent and expected changes in firms’ borrowing needs and credit availability. Parallel questions had been asked in October 2012 and in earlier surveys. As in earlier surveys, a majority of respondents to the current survey reported no change in borrowing needs—both over the past year and over the past three months.
Queried about changes in credit availability, the majority of respondents reported no change. In contrast with last year’s survey, firms in this month’s survey reported increased borrowing costs, on net, over the past three months. Earlier surveys indicated net declines in borrowing costs.
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