The October 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for state manufacturers are in neutral and trending down. The business conditions index came in at 1.5, down 4.7 points since September, barely indicating expansion (readings above 0 indicate growth, readings below 0 indicate contraction). The Survey has been in positive territory for eight of the last nine months, but has fluctuated in a narrow range between +10 and -10 for more than a year. New Orders, a constituent of the index, increased 5.4 points to 7.8 in October indicating strengthening in orders. NYS manufacturers also remained optimistic about the near future, pushing the future business conditions index, a six-month outlook of business conditions, up to an 18-month high of 40.8. See full survey results here.