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Economy in Brief

Empire State Index Back Up
by Tom Moeller November 15, 2005

The November Empire State Index of General Business Conditions in New York's manufacturing industries regained all of the prior month's decline and rose 10.7 points to 22.82, the highest level since August. Consensus expectations had been for less of an increase to 15.0.

Since the series' inception in 2001 there has been a close 80% correlation between the index level and the three month change in factory sector production.

Shipments recovered most of the October decline and the employment index jumped to 7.7 points to the highest level in over a year. The new orders index also added a bit to the October 13 point surge while prices paid rose to a record high.

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 recovered sharply. The 14 point jump pulled the index level to its highest since August and expectations for future capital spending jumped. A nine point rise brought the index to the highest level since March.

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.

Empire State Manufacturing Survey Nov Oct Nov '04 2004 2003 2002
General Business Conditions (diffusion index) 22.82 12.08 19.78 28.76 16.17 7.19
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