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Economy in Brief

Empire State Index Rose Further
by Tom Moeller December 15, 2005

The Empire State Index of General Business Conditions in New York's manufacturing industries rose further in December. The 5.92 point gain to 28.74 followed a 10.7 point increase last month. Consensus expectations had been for a decline to 18.5.

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.

The new orders index surged 4.3 points to the highest level since August though shipments fell as did the employment index to its lowest level since July.

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 slipped one point after a 14 point jump in November. Expectations for future capital spending also added to a strong gain in November.

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 Dec Nov Dec '04 2005 2004 2003
General Business Conditions (diffusion index) 28.74 22.82 27.07 15.59 28.76 16.17
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