Business activity rebounded modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the July 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed out of negative territory, rising thirteen points to 4.3. New orders were little changed, and shipments in-creased. Unfilled orders and inventories continued to move lower, while delivery times were longer. The employment index remained negative, falling to its lowest level in nearly three years. Input price increases continued to moderate times were somewhat longer, and inven- somewhat, while the pace of selling tories fell.
Indexes assessing the six-month outlook were generally somewhat higher than they were last month. The index for future business conditions price increases remained modest.Indexes assessing the six-month outlook indicated that firms were fairly optimistic about future conditions.
Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity grew modestly in July. After declining substan- tially last month, the general business conditions index returned to positive territory, rising thirteen points to 4.3. Thirty percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 26 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index rose, but it remained negative at -1.5. The shipments index moved slightly lower to 7.2, pointing to a small increase in shipments. Unfilled orders declined signaled somewhat longer workweeks. The prices paid index edged down two points to 25.5, suggesting a slightly slower pace of input price increases than last month. The prices received index was little changed at 5.8, pointing to ongoing modest selling price increases.
Employment Falls for a Second in employment levels but no change in Consecutive Month
After falling below zero last month, the index for number of employees slid fur- ther, dropping six points to -9.6, point- ing to a decline in employment levels. The average workweek index, at 3.8, the average workweek in the months ahead. After posting a substantial decline last month, the capital expenditures index rose nine points to 19.0, and the technology spending index inched up to 14.6.
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