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Economy in Brief

Empire State Index Improved, Budget Deficit Estimate Reduced
by Tom Moeller August 15, 2005

The Empire State Index of General Business Conditions in New York's manufacturing industries in August remained roughly at the same level as in July. At 23.04 versus 23.92, the two figures were the best back-to-back levels of the year.

The new orders component added to its earlier improvement and jumped to 33.75, the highest of the year, and the shipments index also rose. The employment index retraced all of the weakness of the prior four months while the prices paid index gained back virtually all of the July decline.

Like the Philadelphia Fed Index of General Business Conditions, the Empire State Business Conditions Index reflects answers to an independent survey question; it is not a weighted combination of the components.

The index of expectations for business conditions in six months rose sharply for the second consecutive month to the highest level since October of last year. Expectations for future capital spending remained about stable at the improved July level.

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.

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

The Congressional Budget Office today updated its outlook for US budget deficits and the economy. The Federal budget deficit estimate for Fiscal Year 2005 was reduced to $331B from $365B projected in March but the FY2006 and FY2007 estimates were raised to $314B and $324B, respectively, from $298B and $268B.

Legislative (mostly Medicare) changes were estimated to cause the ten year deficit outlook, 2006-2015, to worsen by $1.2 trillion versus the earlier outlook.

The Budget Deficit and Economic Outlook: An Update from the Congressional Budget Office is available here.

Understanding the Twin Deficits: New Approaches, New Results from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Empire State Manufacturing Survey August July August '04 2004 2003 2002
General Business Conditions (diffusion index) 23.04 23.91 14.67 28.76 16.17 7.19
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