Manufacturing & The Economy
The January 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to decline at a modest pace. The general business conditions index was negative for a sixth consecutive month and, at -7.8, was little changed from its recent readings. The new orders index fell four points to -7.2, and the shipments index declined a full fifteen points to -3.1. Price increases picked up, with the prices paid index rising six points to 22.6 and the prices received index rising ten points to 10.8, the highest readings for both of these indexes in several months. Labor market conditions remained weak, with the indexes for both the number of employees and the average workweek remaining below zero for a fourth month in a row. The level of optimism about the six-month outlook rose somewhat from December, but remained low compared with levels in early 2012. Significantly, the capital expenditures index fell to 4.3, its lowest reading since 2009.