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.


Download the full report pdf
Read this month's Supplemental Survey Report on Borrowing needs and credit standards

Activity in the region’s service sector continued to decline, according to firms responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s October 2016 Business Leaders Survey. The survey’s headline business activity index fell five points to -13.2. The business climate index dropped further into negative territory to -29.7, signaling that, on balance, respondents continued to view the business climate as worse than normal. The employment index inched up to 9.7, pointing to modest growth in employment, while the wages index declined eight points to 33.3, suggesting that the pace of wage increases slowed somewhat. The prices paid index climbed roughly four points to 36.4, and the prices received index edged up two points to 9.2, indicating that the pace of both input and selling price increases picked up a bit this month. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms were less optimistic about future business conditions.

More »

Released at 8:30 a.m.


19 report PDF
17 report PDF
16 report PDF
18 report PDF
17 report PDF
16 report PDF
18 report PDF
16 report PDF
16  report PDF
18  report PDF

Historical Reports >>

Please note that there are minor changes to the Business Leaders Survey with the October release. The text files have been discontinued, the header row has been removed from the CSV files, the order of some variables are changed, and results are now reported to one decimal place instead of two. Questions or feedback can be sent to Richard Deitz ( or Jason Bram (

Charts of diffusion indexes (past 12 months) PDF

Historical Tables

Diffusion Indexes

Data definitions PDF 2 pages / 10 kb

All Data

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

Related New York Fed Content