November’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey offers a confusing picture of NY manufacturing. Current conditions show positive trends, but remain in negative territory, while the six-month outlook is trending negative but remains in positive territory. Over the last few months both the manufacturing sector and the economy in general have been especially uncertain and worried, first about the election and now about the “fiscal cliff.” Two things need to happen to improve the situation. First, the federal government must avoid the fiscal cliff. Second, businesses (including manufacturers) must recognize that they cannot continue in limbo. We must move forward, making the best decisions we can with the information we have. Uncertainty just comes with the territory, even if it has been greater than normal for the past four years.
See the survey at: http://www.newyorkfed.org/survey/empire/empiresurvey_overview.html