The February 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers improved for the first time since the summer of last year. The general business conditions index rose into positive territory, advancing eighteen points to 10.0. The new orders index also rose sharply, climbing twenty points to 13.3, and the shipments index increased to 13.1. The prices paid index pointed to a continued acceleration in selling prices, and the prices received index, while positive, inched lower. The index for number of employees rose for a third consecutive month and, at 8.1, registered its first positive reading since September, though the average workweek index remained negative. Indexes for the six-month outlook were noticeably higher and suggested a firming in the level of optimism about future business conditions.
Business activity expanded for New York manufacturers, according to the February survey. The general business conditions index rose into positive territory for the first time since July 2012, climbing eighteen points to 10.0. 29 % of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 19%—a significantly lower percentage than in the January survey—reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index also rose sharply, climbing twenty points to 13.3, its highest level since mid-2011. The shipments index advanced sixteen points to 13.1, and the unfilled orders index rose six points to -2.0. The delivery time index moved up four points to 2.0, suggesting that delivery times were slightly longer. The inventories index rose nine points to zero—a sign that inventory levels flattened after declining in recent months.