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Economy in Brief

U.S. Empire State Index Improved
by Tom Moeller October 19, 2007

The October index of manufacturing activity in New York State reversed its September deterioration and rose 14.1 points to 28.75, its highest level since July 2004. The figures are reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Since the series' inception in 2001 there has been a 55% correlation between the index level and the three month change in U.S. factory sector industrial production.

New orders and shipments improved, but employment improved markedly.

In the (perhaps too) short six year history of the NY employment index, there has been an 85% correlation between it and the three month growth in overall factory sector employment.

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.

Pricing pressure rose very slightly. Since 2001 there has been an 81% correlation between the index of prices paid and the three month change in the core intermediate materials PPI.

The Empire State index of expected business conditions in six months rose the highest level in two years.

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.

Monetary Policy under Uncertainty is today's speech by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and it is available here.

Empire State Manufacturing Survey October September Oct. '06  2006 2005 2004
General Business Conditions (diffusion index)   28.75 14.70  21.19 20.33 15.62 28.70
Prices Paid 36.05 35.11 30.63 41.88 44.74 50.50
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