April Empire State Manufacturing Index shows moderate activity
April 16, 2012
April's Empire State Manufacturing Survey was released on Monday, April 16, and found that manufacturing in New York state saw modest improvement.
Despite the general business conditions index dropping 14 points, it stayed in positive territory at 6.6, along with the new orders and shipments indexes. The index for manufacturing industry employment jumped to its highest level in almost a year, reflecting a significant increase in workforce growth.
While the sector continued its expansion, the slowed growth may be hinting the U.S. economic expansion from factories could be leveling off. As Europe and China continue to see slower economies, exports have dropped, limiting orders to American factories. However, the industry was still supported by strong motor vehicle sales, according to Bloomberg.
"The outlook for manufacturing still remains positive but we’re not accelerating," said Millan Mulraine, a senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities, adding that the slowdown in global growth is keeping factories from expanding further.
The Empire Manufacturing Index is monitored by economists, as it has proven to give clues about the Institute for Supply Management's report on U.S. manufacturing. Philadelphia Fed's report, which will be released April 19, is another strong indicator.