Business activity grew slightly in New York State, according to firms responding to the October 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index edged up two points to 4.0. There was only a small increase in new orders, but shipments picked up. Delivery times decreased slightly, while inventories were little changed. Employment levels and hours worked both increased modestly.
The index for number of employees came in at 7.6, pointing to ongoing modest employment gains, and the average workweek index rose seven points to 8.3, indicating that hours worked also increased.
Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that optimism about future conditions improved somewhat but remained subdued. The index for future business conditions edged up three points to 17.1 but remained well below the levels seen for much of the past few years.
This was higher than the consensus forecast.