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ECON: Empire State Survey In Negative Territory For 6th Straight Month
Posted to: Micro News
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:55 AM

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- Empire State Index -7.78 vs +0.00 Consensus
- Employment -4.3 vs -9.68 in Dec
- New Orders -7.18 vs -3.44 in Dec
- Prices Paid 22.58 vs 16.13 in Jan
- Economists initially expected a slightly higher than breakeven reading on this one (+0.2), but the consensus recently came down to +0.00. Either of those figures would have ended a 5 month stint in negative territory, so today's additional ugly reading of -7.78 with no marked revision to last month's crappy numbers is sufficiently bearish enough to help the case against reading much economic positivity into the slightly stronger Retail Sales numbers. A supporting actor, to be sure, but helpful.

The January 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to decline at a modest pace. The general business conditions index was negative for a sixth consecutive month and, at -7.8, was little changed from its recent readings. The new orders index fell four points to -7.2, and the shipments index declined a full fi fteen points to -3.1. Price increases picked up, with the prices paid index rising six points to 22.6 and the prices received index rising ten points to 10.8, the highest readings for both of these indexes in several months. Labor market conditions remained weak, with the indexes for both the number of employees and the average workweek remaining below zero for a fourth month in a row. The level of optimism about the six-month outlook rose somewhat from December, but remained low compared with levels in early 2012. Signifi cantly, the capital expenditures index fell to 4.3, its lowest reading since 2009.

In a series of supplementary questions, manufacturers were asked about anticipated changes in their workforce and the factors underlying these changes. Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents indicated that they expected the total number of workers at their fi rm to increase over the next twelve months, while 19 percent predicted declines in their workforce—a considerably less positive balance than in last January’s survey. Among fi rms planning to boost employment, high expected sales growth was widely reported to be the most important impetus to hiring; conversely, low expected sales growth was most widely cited as the primary restraint on hiring. Sales growth was also seen as the primary factor behind employment increases and decreases in the 2012 survey.




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