Business Leaders Survey

A monthly survey of service firms in New York State, northern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut, conducted by the New York Fed.


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Activity in the region’s service sector declined significantly this month, according to firms responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s August 2016 Business Leaders Survey. The survey’s headline business activity index plummeted twenty-five points to -19.9, a multiyear low. The business climate index fell twelve points to -31.3, signaling that respondents generally continued to view the business climate as worse than normal, and to a greater extent than last month. The employment index fell to 2.8, marking a slight increase in employment levels, and the wages index edged up three points to 35.0. The prices paid index held steady at 35.5, signaling that input prices continued to rise at the same pace as the last two months, while the prices received index slipped five points to 1.4, suggesting selling prices were little changed. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook indicated that firms remained somewhat optimistic about future business conditions.

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Historical Reports >>

Charts of diffusion indexes (past 12 months) PDF

Historical Tables

Diffusion Indexes
txt | csv

Data definitions PDF 2 pages / 10 kb

All Data
txt | csv

Data definitions PDF 2 pages / 10 kb

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.

For demonstration only:
Sample survey PDF 3 pages / 44 kb

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.

Tech help:

Questions about survey/data: or (716) 849-5025; or (212) 720-5651

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