Empire State business conditions improve for 11th straight month
Business conditions for New York manufacturers improved in June and the future outlook remains in positive territory, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey, released today.
The report's current business conditions index rose slightly to 19.6 compared with a reading of 19.1 in May, marking the 11th straight month of growth. The survey's new orders and shipments indexes rose as well. Inventories remained near zero for a second straight month, indicating that the state's manufacturing inventory levels are beginning to stabilize.
Looking ahead, the survey's future index remained above 40, indicating optimism among manufacturers, but fell for the second straight month--to 40.7.
The survey also asked manufacturing business leaders about their capital spending plans for 2010; 46% of respondents said they plan to increase capital spending this year, up markedly compared with the 20% of respondents who indicated growth in spending last June. Respondents expect to invest in computer software, hardware, and non-computer equipment and said they will cut spending on structures.
In other economic news, the machine tool industry released its April manufacturing technology consumption report yesterday, revealing a year-to-date increase of more than 50%.
April machine tool consumption fell 15.6% to $222.36 million compared to March, but rose more than 100% compared to figures from April 2009, according to the latest United States Manufacturing Technology Consumption Report from AMT--The Assn. for Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors' Assn. Year-to-date, U.S. manufacturers' machine tool consumption rose 50.6% to $783.03 million.
"Cautious spending on manufacturing technology in January and February pushed higher levels of inevestment into the later part of the first quarter, propping up March results," AMT president Douglas K. Wood said in a statement announcing the results. "While April dipped slightly as compared to March, the level of activity was more than 100% better than a year ago. We expect this investment level to be more typical as the year porgresses, reflecting manufacturers' continued cautious optimism."