Business conditions for manufacturers in New York are gradually improving, according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, commonly known as the "New York Fed." The report, which the New York Fed releases on a monthly basis, helps economists and business owners evaluate the health of the manufacturing sector, and the economy in general. Many business indicators for manufacturing have slipped, while others have improved, but the overall trend seems to be upward since Hurricane Sandy hit New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the East Coast in late 2012. The report offers a useful overall view of business conditions in New York.
The New York Fed released its latest report in the Empire State Manufacturing Survey on June 17, 2013. The report collects survey responses from manufacturers all over the state on indicators such as new orders, unfilled orders, shipments, delivery time, inventories, prices paid and received, number of employees, and average work weeks. It also asks respondents to rate general business conditions, and it uses the responses to create an index of statewide business conditions for the manufacturing sector. A supplemental report released in June asked New York manufacturers about business disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, and compared responses between businesses in the New York City area and businesses located upstate.
The indicators presented in the New York Fed's report are expressed as numbers beginning at zero, and increasing to represent growth, or decreasing to represent contraction. It reported a "general business conditions index" of 7.84 for June 2013, an increase from May's index of -1.43. During the past twelve years, the general business index reached a high of 39.09 in April 2004, and a low of -32.62 in March 2009. The future general business conditions index for June 2013 is 24.98, a gradual decrease from the recent high of 36.43 in March 2013. Indicators in most specific categories dropped between May and June, suggesting that parts of the manufacturing sector are still shrinking. The new orders index, for example, decreased from -1.17 to -6.69, and the shipments index decreased from -0.02 to -11.77. The index for expected number of employees barely continued to show growth, dropping from 11.36 to 1.61.
With regard to Hurricane Sandy, downstate businesses reported a significantly greater impact from the storm than upstate businesses. About sixty percent of the manufacturing businesses in the New York City area, including the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island, reported that the storm either shut them down or severely impacted them for five or more days. Another twenty-four percent were crippled for at least four days. The median estimate among NYC-area businesses for property damage caused by Sandy was $35,000.
Samuel C. Berger, PC's business attorneys offer fixed-fee packages of legal services to New York and New Jersey businesses and entrepreneurs. We represent businesses in a wide range of legal issues and work to help our clients understand their rights and obligations, allowing them grow and run smoothly. Contact us today online or at (212) 380-8117 to speak to a member of our skilled legal team.
Empire State Manufacturing Survey (PDF file), Federal Reserve Bank of New York, June 2013
Supplemental Report: Manufacturers Look Back at Fallout from Sandy (PDF file), Federal Reserve Bank of New York, June 2013
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