The June 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers improved modestly. The general business conditions index—the most comprehensive of the survey’s measures—rose nine points to 7.8. Nevertheless, most other indicators in the survey fell. The new orders index slipped six points to -6.7, the shipments index fell twelve points to -11.8, and the unfilled orders index fell eight points to -14.5. The prices paid index held steady at 21.0, while the prices received index rose seven points to 11.3. Labor market conditions worsened, with the index for number of employees dropping to zero and the average workweek index retreating ten points to -11.3. Continuing the trend seen in the past few months, indexes for the six-month outlook declined, suggesting that optimism about future conditions was weakening further.
In a series of supplementary survey questions, manufacturers were asked to look back and assess the short-term and medium-term effects of Superstorm Sandy on their business. As in last November’s survey (conducted immediately after the storm), the
vast majority of upstate firms said that they were essentially unaffected by the storm. However, firms in New York City, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley reported that it took an average of more than two weeks after the storm for business to get back to normal, and more than a third of these firms said that the storm had adversely affected their overall business revenue during the seven months since Sandy.
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