Empire State Manufacturing Index down in February

Although business slowed a bit for New York manufacturers during February, experts are still positive for the future, according to a new survey released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey is released every month and polls manufacturers in New York about their business confidence for the next month. The survey index was 4.5 for February, which is a major drop from January's reading of 12.5. Even though February posted a decline from January, a reading of above zero means there is expansion in the industry.

Lewis Alexander, chief U.S. economist at Nomura, said in a statement this level of growth is healthy, but the manufacturing industry should be cautious in the coming months.

"The Empire State headline index jumped over 10 points in January, and the new orders index escaped negative territory for the first time in two months," Alexander said. "The increase in this new orders indicator is supportive of activity in February. However, we expect the continuous inclement weather to weigh on manufacturing sentiment in the Northeast region."

The demand for employment in February dropped slightly from the January reading of 12.2 to 11.25, but the average employee workweek increased to stand at 3.75 for February. An increased hourly workweek means that workers are staying longer and making more money. The employee-expectations index, shot up from January's reading of 20.7 to be at 25 for February. This reading is also a jump from the December index of 9.64.

Despite a drop in the overall index, the manufacturing industry continues to grow in 2014. Manufactures who need help with finding experienced workers to assist them meeting demands of the industry can look to manufacturing recruiters to help them with their search.