General Business Conditions Index Highest in Six Months
|Prior||Consensus Forecast||Forecast Range||Actual|
|General Business Conditions Index||10.1||9.0||8.2 — 11.0||17.8|
|Future Conditions Index||12.4||—||—||30.6|
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey nearly doubled the consensus forecast for May, gaining 8 points to 17.8 and beating the high end of the forecast range. The consensus forecast for the New York Fed’s monthly manufacturing survey was for a slight decline to 9.0.
The general business conditions index has risen for the second straight month and is now at the highest level in six months, or since November 2018.
Thirty-six percent (36%) reported conditions improved in May, while 18% reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index gained 2 points to 9.7, and the shipments index rose 8 points to 16.3, the latter indicating a solid increase in shipments.
The employment index was down 7 points to 4.7, which suggests employment rose moderately, while the average workweek index held steady at 4.4.
The prices paid index was little changed at 26.2, and the prices received index was largely unchanged at 12.4.
Manufacturing firms were significantly more optimistic about the six-month outlook than they were last month. The index for future business conditions surged 18 points to 30.6. Firms expressed similar gains in future new orders and shipments, and expected solid increases in employment. No change in the average workweek was expected in the months ahead.
The capital expenditures index was little changed at a solid 26.2, and the technology spending index came in at 22.8, up slightly from April.