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 August 2015 Business Leaders Survey indicates that activity in the region’s service sector expanded modestly. The survey’s headline business activity index fell six points to 4.6, indicating a slower pace of growth than in July. The business climate index edged down one point to -8.3, signaling that, on balance, respondents continued to view the business climate as worse than normal. At 14.6, the employment index indicated that employment continued to grow at a steady clip. The wages index climbed three points to 37.7, pointing to slightly faster pace of wage growth. Price increases slowed this month: the prices paid index retreated five points to 38.9, and the prices received index moved down five points to 6.9. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms were fairly optimistic about future business conditions.
Business activity continued to grow in the region’s service sector, according to the August survey, but at a slower pace than last month. The survey’s headline business activity index fell six points to 4.6. This month, 31 percent of respondents reported that conditions improved, while 27 percent reported that conditions worsened. The business climate index inched down one point to -8.3, indicating that, on balance, firms continued to view the business climate as worse than normal.
Employment and Wages Continue to Expand
The employment index slipped two points to 14.6, suggesting that employment continued to grow at a moderate pace. The wages index edged up three points to 37.7, indicating a slightly faster pace of wage growth than last month. Price indexes were lower, signaling a slightly slower pace of increase in both input prices and selling prices. The prices paid index fell for a second consecutive month, moving down five points to 38.9, and the prices received index declined five points to 6.9. The capital spending index climbed two points to 10.9.
Outlook Improves Slightly
Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms were slightly more optimistic about future business conditions than last month. The index for expected business activity crept up one point to 33.1, and the index for future business climate rose two points to 18.1. The index for expected employment advanced two points to 22.2, while the index for future wages dropped ten points to 36.3. Indexes for future prices declined, and the index for expected capital spending fell four points to 9.5.
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.