The November Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell into negative territory for the first time since May. The -2.2 reading indicates that NYS manufacturing contracted over the last month. New Orders (-5.53) and Shipments (-0.53) were also in negative territory after dropping 13.28 points and 13.65 points, respectively, from last month’s levels. Prices Received fell 6.36 points to -3.95 indicating that selling prices may also be under pressure.
Nevertheless, the Future Business Conditions Index, which indicates manufacturers’ six-month outlook, remained in positive territory at 37.51, despite a 3.25 point drop from October levels. This suggests that New York manufacturers see the current dip as a relatively short-term issue, rather than a long term trend.
The Survey also indicated that price pressures are increasing on manufacturers. In particular, employee benefits are expect to increase from 7% this year to over 9% in 2014, perhaps tied to healthcare cost concerns. (See the full survey here.)