N.Y. Fed says regional activity up in Feb.


Business activity grew modestly in New York State in February, according to firms responding to the New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

The New York Fed said on Friday that the general business conditions index rose five points to 8.8.

“Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity grew, though like last month, at a significantly slower pace than much of last year,” the N.Y. Fed said. “Thirty-two percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 23% reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index climbed four points to 7.5. The shipments index came in at 10.4, indicating a decent pace of growth, though the index fell eight points to its lowest level in well over a year. Unfilled orders held steady, inventories were little changed, and delivery times were slightly longer.”

For the second month in a row, the index for number of employees fell, declining three points to 4.1, pointing to a slight increase in employment levels while the average workweek index moved down to 2.5. The prices paid index fell for a third straight month, dropping nine points to 27.1, indicating a continued slowing of input price increases. The prices received index increased ten points to 22.9, suggesting that selling price increases picked up.

“Firms were more optimistic about the six-month outlook than last month,” the N.Y. Fed said.

The index for future business conditions rose 15 points to 32.3 in February after slipping in January. The indexes for future new orders and shipments climbed to similar levels.

“Firms expected employment and hours worked to increase at a solid pace in the months ahead. The capital expenditures index rose eleven points to 29.3, and the technology spending index edged up to 22.1,” the N.Y. Fed said.

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