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Economy in Brief

Empire State Index At A New High
by Tom Moeller January 20, 2004

The Empire State Index of General Business Conditions for January rose three points to 39.22, a record high, and confirmed the indication of strength in the factory sector from the Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook Survey.

The new orders index rose modestly to 36.13, continuing an uptrend. The shipments index soared five points to 41.73, another record level. The employment index slipped from December to 24.71 but remained near the series' record level.

The index of prices paid more than doubled versus December, rising to 28.16.

The survey includes measures of expectations for business conditions six months ahead. The January index slipped to 62.16, the lowest level since September. Expectations for capital expenditures also fell sharply.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey is a monthly survey of manufacturers in New York State conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Participants from across the state in a variety of industries respond to a questionnaire and report the change in a variety of indicators from the previous month. Respondents also state the likely direction of these same indicators six months ahead. April 2002 is the first report, although survey data date back to July 2001.

Like the Philadelphia Fed Index of General Business Conditions, the Empire State Business Conditions Index reflects answers to an independent survey question, not the components.

For more on the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, including methodologies and the latest report, click here.

Empire State Manufacturing Survey Jan Dec Y/Y (1/03) 2003 2002 2001
General Business Conditions (diffusion index) 39.22 36.16 14.56 16.30 7.02 -13.57
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