Manufacturing conditions in the tristate area continued to decline “at a modest pace,” according to the January 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey, released Jan. 15 by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The survey’s general business conditions index was little changed from previous months, with 26 percent of respondents saying conditions had improved over the past month and 34 percent saying conditions had worsened.
The six-month outlook improved compared to the December survey.
About 41 percent of respondents said they expect conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to 39 percent in December, while 18 percent said they expect conditions to worsen, compared to 21 percent in the December survey.
Indices measuring new orders and shipments both declined, while the job market for manufacturing remained weak, according to the survey.
Based on a series of supplemental questions accompanying the monthly survey, manufacturers were asked about hiring plans, with 27 percent of respondents saying they plan to increase employment over the next year and 19 percent expecting to trim their respective workforces.
Among those who said they expect to increase employment, higher-than-expected sales growth was the catalyst, while those who said they expect to cut staff blamed low sales.
The survey spans manufacturers located in New York state, northern New Jersey and Fairfield County.