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 and Education function engages, empowers and educates the Second District communities that the Bank serves, especially civic leaders, students, educators, small business owners, policymakers and the general public. It furthers the Bank's commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and leveraging our unique attributes to positively impact school and university programs, as well as analysis and research.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's May 2015 Business Leaders Survey indicates that activity in the region's service sector expanded moderately. The survey's headline business activity index edged up two points to 12.8. At -7.9, the business climate index was little changed, signaling that, on balance, respondents continued to view the business climate as worse than normal. The employment index held steady at 10.6, a sign of continued growth in employment levels, and the wages index climbed ten points to 40.2, suggesting that wage increases picked up noticeably. The prices paid index rose three points to 43.9, indicating continued moderate input price increases, and the prices received index slipped two points to 6.6, pointing to a small increase in selling prices. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms remained optimistic about future conditions.
Business activity continued to grow in the region's service sector, according to the May survey. The survey's headline business activity index edged up two points to 12.8. This month, 38 percent of respondents reported that conditions improved, while 25 percent reported that conditions worsened. The business climate index was little changed at -7.9, indicating that, on balance, firms continued to view the business climate as worse than normal.
Acceleration in Wages Resumes
At 11.0, the employment index pointed to continued growth in employment levels. After a brief respite last month, the wages index resumed its upward trend, climbing ten points to 40.2, a sign that wage growth picked up significantly. The prices paid index rose three points to 43.9, indicating somewhat steeper input price increases. The prices received index inched lower for a second consecutive month, falling two points to 6.6, signaling a modest pace of selling price increases. The capital spending index fell four points to 6.6, suggesting a slower pace of growth in capital expenditures.
Outlook Remains Optimistic
Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms remained optimistic about future business conditions. The index for expected business activity held steady at 39.2, and the index for future business climate slipped to 25.6. The index for expected employment was 33.9, indicating that strong employment gains are expected in the months ahead. The index for expected capital spending declined five points to 15.7.
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.