Friday, August 15, 2014

NY Fed: Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates "business conditions continued to improve" in August

by Calculated Risk on 8/15/2014 08:30:00 AM

From the NY Fed: Empire State Manufacturing Survey

The August 2014 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business conditions continued to improve for New York manufacturers, but the improvement was less wide-spread than in the previous month. The headline general business conditions index retreated eleven points to 14.7, after reaching a four-year high in July. The new orders index slipped almost five points to 14.1, while the shipments index edged up a point to 24.6—a multiyear high. ...

Labor market conditions were mixed but continued to improve overall. The index for number of employees slipped three points to 13.6, suggesting a slight pullback in the pace of hiring. However, the average workweek index rose six points to 8.0, signaling a slight increase in hours worked.

Despite the pullback in most of the survey’s indexes for current conditions, optimism about the near-term outlook grew increasingly widespread. The index for future general business conditions climbed eighteen points to 46.8—its highest level in two-and-a-half years.
emphasis added
This is the first of the regional surveys for August.  The general business conditions index was below the consensus forecast of a reading of 20.0, but still indicates solid expansion (above zero suggests expansion).  However this is slower expansion in August than in July (the index was at a four-year high in July).