New York State business activity continued to grow strongly in June, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Friday.

The general business conditions index rose to 25.0 in June from 20.1 in May. Economists surveyed by IFR Markets had expected the index would be 19.0.

The new orders index increased to 21.3 from 16.0, while the shipments index gained to 23.5 from 19.1 and unfilled orders gained to 9.3 from 5.0, the Fed said.

“The index for number of employees climbed ten points to 19.0, its highest level thus far in 2018, pointing to a pickup in employment levels,” the Fed said. “The average workweek index was little changed at 12.0, indicating an increase in hours worked.”

The delivery time index slipped to 13.2 from 13.7 while the inventories index fell to 5.4 from 10.1 in the prior survey. The prices paid index declined to 52.7 from 54.0 while the prices received index inched up to 23.3 from 23.0. The number of employees index jumped to 19.0 from 8.7, while the average employee workweek index increased to 12.0 from 11.1, the Fed reported.

“After slipping in April, optimism about the six-month outlook increased for a second consecutive month,” the Fed said.

Looking six months into the future, the general business conditions index rose to 38.9 from 31.1 last month. The new orders index increased to 33.4 from 33.7, while the shipments index gained to 40.7 from 36.5, and unfilled orders reversed to 7.8 from negative 2.2, the Fed said. The delivery time index rose to 5.4 from 3.6 while the inventories index rose to 10.1 from 8,6.

After slipping in April, optimism about the six-month outlook increased for a second consecutive month. The index for future business conditions climbed eight points to 38.9. Employment was expected to increase in the months ahead, and the indexes for future prices remained elevated. The capital expenditures index edged down two points to 27.1, and the technology spending index fell six points to 17.1.

The prices paid index dipped to 54.0 from 54.8, while the prices received index slid to 29.5 from 31.1. The number of employees index grew to 20.8 from 13.1 while the average employee workweek index gained to 4.3 from 3.7, the Fed reported. The capital expenditures index increased to 29.5 from 25.2. The technology spending index rose to 23.0 from 18.5.

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