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Fed survey: Conditions worsen for N.Y. manufacturers

By ANDREA DECKERT - 10/15/2012 3:37:30 PM

Conditions for New York manufacturers declined for a third consecutive month in October the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey shows.

The general business conditions index rose four points to -6.2, with 25 percent of respondents reporting conditions had improved over the month and 31 percent reporting that conditions had worsened.

The new orders index climbed five points but, at -9, remained negative. The shipments index fell below zero for the first time in more than a year, dropping nine points to -6.4. The unfilled orders index was slightly lower at -18.3. The delivery time index fell six points to -4.3, and the inventories index edged down to -2.2.

At 17.2, the prices paid index remained near its level of the past few months, while the prices received index held at 4.3. The index for number of employees fell for a second consecutive month and, at -1.1, suggests employment levels were essentially flat. The average workweek index fell three points to -4.3.

After rising last month, the future general business conditions index fell eight points to 19.4.

In a series of supplementary questions, more respondents reported rising than declining borrowing needs over the past year, by a margin of 26 percent to 17 percent. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, 24 percent of manufacturers indicated they expected borrowing needs to be higher a year from now, whereas just 10 percent anticipated lower borrowing needs.

While the majority of respondents reported no change in credit availability—over either the past three months or the past 12 months—almost twice as many manufacturers reported tightening as easing in credit.

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