The New York Fed's monthly Empire State Manufacturing Survey is out.
The index dropped slightly to 9.24 from last month's 10.04 reading.
Economists expected a smaller tick down to 10.00.
However, it still remains quite elevated from January levels, when the index was in negative territory at -7.78.
Below is a summary from the release:
The March 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to improve modestly. The general business conditions index was positive for a second consecutive month and, at 9.2, was little changed. The new orders and shipments indexes also remained above zero, though both were somewhat lower than last month’s levels. Price indexes showed that input price increases continued at a steady pace while selling prices were flat. Employment indexes suggested that labor market conditions were sluggish, with little change in employment levels and the length of the average workweek. Indexes for the six-month outlook pointed to an increasing level of optimism about future conditions, with the future general business conditions index rising to its highest level in nearly
In a series of supplementary questions, firms were asked about cash holdings, debt levels, and methods of financing capital spending. Queried about expected changes in their outstanding debt in the year ahead, manufacturers indicated an increasingly widespread inclination to take on more debt. When asked about anticipated changes in cash holdings in the year ahead, more respondents anticipated decreases than increases—for the first time since 2008. Manufacturers, on average, also reported that they were currently holding less cash than usual.
ORIGINAL: Minutes away from the release of the New York Fed's monthly Empire State Manufacturing Survey, due out at 8:30 AM ET.
Economists expect the index to tick down slightly to 10.00 from 10.04 in February.
Last month, the index unexpectedly surged to 10.04 from -7.78 in January.
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