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Conditions for New York manufacturers improved modestly for a third consecutive month in August, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey shows.
The general business conditions index was 8.2, a reading similar to the prior month. Thirty percent of respondents reported conditions had improved over the month, while 22 percent reported conditions had worsened.
Labor market conditions strengthened, with employment indexes advancing to their highest levels in a year. The index for number of employees rose eight points to 10.8, and the average workweek index climbed 12 points to 4.8.
The new orders index fell four points to 0.3 and the shipments index fell seven points to 1.5. The unfilled orders index came in at minus 6. The delivery time index fell to minus 1.2, and the inventories index rose three points to minus 3.6. The prices paid index inched up three points to 20.5. The prices received index rose three points to 3.6.
Indexes for the six-month outlook generally conveyed strong optimism about future business conditions. The future general business conditions index rose five points to 37.4, its highest level in more than a year.
In response to a series of supplementary questions, manufacturers predicted overall revenues would be 5 percent higher in 2013 than in 2012. Employment levels and capital spending were expected to be little changed from last year.
Also, more respondents reported that they had scaled back than raised their sales expectations for 2013 from what they had anticipated at the beginning of the year. Hiring and capital spending plans for 2013 were only slightly less positive than at the beginning of the year.
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