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Monday, May 17, 2010

NY Fed: Manufacturing Conditions Improve, but at Slower Pace

by Calculated Risk on 5/17/2010 08:32:00 AM

From the NY Fed: Empire State Manufacturing Survey

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to improve for a tenth consecutive month in May, albeit at a slower pace than in April. The general business conditions index fell 13 points, to 19.1. Similarly, the new orders and shipments indexes also moved lower but remained at positive levels. The inventories index dropped back to a level near zero after rising into positive territory in March and April. .... Future indexes suggest that activity is expected to expand further in the months ahead, but the level of optimism was noticeably lower in May than in recent months.
The new orders index was also lower, falling 15 points to 14.3. ... The index for number of employees climbed to 22.4, with nearly a third of respondents increasing employment levels in May. The average workweek index fell to zero, following four months of positive readings. .... The future inventories index fell below zero for the first time since October of last year, suggesting that inventory levels were not expected to rise in the coming months.
This came in below expectations. New orders are softer and the inventory adjustment is over. Manufacturing continued to improve, although at a slower pace in May. This is an early indicator for the national ISM survey that will be released June 1st.