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Economy in Brief

Empire State Index Fell Sharply
by Tom Moeller April 17, 2006

The April Empire State Index of General Business Conditions fell sharply to 15.81 from a downwardly revised March reading of 29.03. The figures are reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Consensus expectations had been for a lesser decline to 23.9.

Since the series' inception in 2001 there has been a 76% correlation between the index level and the three month change in factory sector industrial production.

Most of the index components fell in April with both orders & shipments at roughly half last month's level. The employment index, however, only gave back some of its surge in March and landed at 17.41 versus a 12.45 1Q average.

Pricing pressure fell slightly m/m and was at the lowest since lowest level since last August.

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 improved following two months of decline and expectations for future capital spending rose but just slightly.

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 April Mar April '05 2005 2004 2003
General Business Conditions (diffusion index) 15.81 29.03 5.09 15.56 28.79 15.98
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