Business activity continued to grow at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the November 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index edged up two points to 23.3. New orders and shipments increased moderately, while unfilled orders held steady. Delivery times continued to lengthen somewhat, and inventories moved higher. Labor market indicators pointed to an increase in employment levels and longer workweeks. The prices paid index remained elevated, and the prices received index was little changed. Looking ahead, firms remained fairly optimistic about the six-month outlook.
BUSINESSES REPORT ONGOING GAINS
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity continued to expand strongly. The general business conditions index rose two points to 23.3. Forty-one percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 18 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index edged down just slightly to 20.4, and the shipments index was little changed at 28.0—readings that reflected moderate growth. Unfilled orders were unchanged, inventories climbed, and delivery times continued to lengthen modestly.
INPUT PRICE INDEX REMAINS ELEVATED
The index for number of employees moved up five points to 14.1, and the average workweek index climbed nine points to 9.2, indicating increases in both employment levels and hours worked. Input prices continued to rise, with the prices paid index edging up three points to 44.5. The prices received index was little changed at 13.1.
FIRMS REMAIN FAIRLY OPTIMISTIC
Firms expressed a moderate level of optimism about the six-month outlook. The index for future business conditions rose five points to 33.6. The indexes for future delivery times and future inventories both climbed above zero, suggesting that businesses expect longer delivery times and higher inventories. The index for future prices paid reached a multiyear high, and employment levels were expected to increase in the months ahead. The capital expenditures index increased to 24.8, and the technology spending index advanced to 19.7.
New York Fed 
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