The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach & Education function engages, empowers and educates the public in the Second District. Our outreach mission furthers the Bank’s commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and developing programs, analysis and sponsored conferences and clinics to help meet their needs. Our education mission aims to advance public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System and its role in the economy.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s September 2015 Business Leaders Survey indicates that activity in the region’s service sector continued to expand modestly. The survey’s headline business activity index was little changed at 3.8. The business climate index slipped four points to -12.0, signaling that, on balance, respondents continued to view the business climate as worse than normal, and to a somewhat greater degree than last month. The employment index indicated continued gains in employment, and the wages index dipped almost seven points to 31.1, a sign of a somewhat slower pace of wage gains. Input price increases slowed, with the prices paid index falling six points to 32.8, while the prices received index rose roughly four points to 11.4. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook pointed to a general decline in optimism about future business conditions but a pickup in hiring plans.
Business activity continued to grow modestly in the region’s service sector, according to the September survey. The survey’s headline business activity index was little changed at 3.8. This month, 32 percent of respondents reported that conditions improved, while 29 percent reported that conditions worsened. The business climate index fell four points to -12.0, indicating that, on balance, firms continued to view the business climate as worse than normal, and to a greater extent than last month.
Input Price Increases Slow
The employment index was little changed at 12.9, suggesting that employment continued to grow at a moderate pace. The wages index moved down almost seven points to 31.1, indicating that wages increased at a somewhat slower pace compared with last month. For a third consecutive month, the prices paid index declined, falling six points to 32.8, a sign that input price increases continued to slow. The prices received index increased by a little more than four points to 11.4, signaling that selling prices accelerated slightly. The capital spending index fell six points to 4.6, an indication that capital spending expanded only slightly.
Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms were considerably less optimistic about future business conditions than they were last month. The index for expected business activity fell seventeen points to 15.8, its lowest level in nearly three years (since right after Superstorm Sandy), and the index for future business climate dropped twelve points to 6.1. The index for expected employment, in contrast, advanced nearly six points to 27.8, suggesting that hiring is expected to pick up in the months ahead. The index for expected capital spending rose modestly to 12.8.
The Business Leaders Survey is a monthly survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that asks companies across its District - which includes New York State, Northern New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut - about recent and expected trends in key business indicators. This survey is designed to parallel the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, though it covers a wider geography and the questions are slightly different. Participants from the service sector respond to a questionnaire and report on a variety of indicators' both in terms of recent and expected changes. While January 2014 is the first published report, survey responses date back to September of 2004 and all historical data are available on our website.
The survey is sent on the first business day of each month to the same pool of about 150 business executives, usually the president or CEO, in the region's service sector. In a typical month, about 100 responses are received by around the tenth of the month when the survey closes.
Respondents come from a wide range of industries outside of the manufacturing sector, with the mix of respondents closely resembling the industry structure of the region.
The survey's headline index, general business activity, is a distinct question posed on the survey (as opposed to a composite of responses to other questions). Currently, no indexes are seasonally adjusted since none of the series exhibits stable seasonal patterns from a statistical perspective.