Member Briefing December 19, 2022
Empire Manufacturing Survey: Activity Down, Employment Up
Manufacturing activity contracted in New York State, according to the December survey from the New York Federal Reserve.
- The general business conditions index fell sixteen points to -11.2.
- The new orders index held steady at -3.6, pointing to another small decline in orders,
- The delivery times index came in at 1.9, indicating that delivery times were little changed.
- The inventories index retreated to 3.7, pointing to a small increase in inventories.
- The index for number of employees edged up to 14.0.
- The average workweek index, however, fell to -4.5.
- The prices paid index held steady at 50.5
- The prices received index remaining at 25.2.
- The index for future business conditions climbed twelve points, but remained subdued at 6.3.
- The indexes for future new orders and shipments climbed above zero, indicating that small increases are anticipated, and employment is expected to continue to increase.
- The capital spending index rose nine points to 23.4.
War in Ukraine Headlines
- Ukraine and Russia: The Latest News – The Guardian
- A Looming Russian Offensive – The Economist
- Moscow Appeals for Army Recruits to Fight in Ukraine Through Propaganda Videos – CNN
- Russian Troops in Ukraine Read Wikipedia for Weapons Info, Use 1960s Maps - NYT
- EU Unity Over Russia Sanctions Falters as Europe's Economy Wilts - Reuters
- 'If I Disappear, It Means They Killed Me': Russian Activist Accused Of 'Discrediting' The Military Vanishes, Friends Say - Radio Free Europe
- The Chechen Warlord Who Does Putin’s Dirty Work - WSJ
- EU Backs Fresh Sanctions Apparently Targeting Iran’s Supply of Drones to Russia – Times of Israel
- Russia’s Shadowy Mercenary Air Force Is Losing More And More Jets In Ukraine – Forbes
- Map – Tracking Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine – Live Universal Awareness Map
Federal Reserve: US Factory Production Declines for First Time Since June
US factory production declined for the first time since June, underscoring weaker conditions in the sector amid waning global demand and higher borrowing costs. The 0.6% drop in factory production last month followed an upwardly revised 0.3% gain in October, according to Federal Reserve data released Thursday. The figure missed all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Including mining and utilities, total industrial output fell 0.2% in November.
Manufacturing output was dragged by both durable and nondurable goods, including motor vehicles and parts and plastics and rubber products. Excluding autos, factory production was still down by the most in six months. Manufacturers have been contending with weaker demand due to shifting consumer spending patterns and compounded by higher interest rates. The Fed’s report also showed capacity utilization at factories retreated to 78.9% last month, the lowest since June.
Congress Races to Finish $1.7 Trillion Spending Bill Before Christmas
Lawmakers will return to the Capitol this week with a singular focus of passing a sweeping bipartisan spending bill to avert a shutdown and fund the government through September. The massive bill is expected to total around $1.7 trillion and could be released as early as today. Because it is the last piece of legislation that Congress will pass in this session, lawmakers have spent weeks lobbying to attach other bills, including funding for Ukraine, changes to tax policy and a measure to update how Congress deals with disputes over certifying presidential-election results.
Lawmakers have agreed to fund military programs at $858 billion—the level set by a defense policy bill that passed in a Senate vote this past week—up from $778 billion a year earlier. But they have been haggling over nondefense spending. A week ago, congressional negotiators announced they had reached a framework on the bill, but provided no details. Prospects for a broad bipartisan agreement on tax breaks for businesses and families are dim.
U.S. COVID Update - 'Tripledemic' Viruses Still Spreading. What Science Shows About Being Contagious.
How can we stop the winter "tripledemic" of respiratory viruses from wrecking upcoming holiday travel and family gatherings? People know when they have Covid symptoms, but do minor sniffles at the end of a coronavirus infection, for example, mean they’re still contagious? It’s a good time to brush up on what scientists know, and still don’t know, about how long people remain infectious with viral diseases — Covid, influenza, RSV — that are spreading across the U.S.
This Q&A from NBC News offers the most up to date answers on question like: “How long am I contagious with COVID? If I’m taking Paxlovid, am I contagious? How long am I contagious with the flu or other viral illnesses?
NYS COVID Update
The Governor updated COVID data through December 16
- Daily: 35
- Total Reported to CDC: 76,280
- Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 3,565
- Patients Currently in ICU Statewide: 364
7 Day Average Positivity Rate - Cases per 100K population
- Statewide 6.84% - 27.94 positive cases per 100,00 population
- Mid-Hudson: 6.80% - 29.43 positive cases per 100,00 population
Government is Offering 4 More Free Covid Tests
To combat the virus' spread, White House officials announced Thursday that each household can order four free at-home tests. The tests will be mailed directly to homes starting the week of Dec. 19. The Biden administration had suspended the program in September due to a lack of funding. But on a call with reporters, a senior administration official said the White House is using money from the Covid stimulus bill passed last year to pay for the additional tests.
How to get free tests from the government On the Covid.gov website, click on "Order Free At-Home Tests," then fill out your address on the form and check out. Each household is eligible for one shipment of four tests.
NY Climate Action Plan to be Voted on Today: Setting Roadmap for Carbon-Free Economy
The New York State Climate Action Council will meet in Albany today to vote on a final statewide Scoping Plan to guide the implementation of the state's climate goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The CLCPA requires the state to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and no less than 85% by 2050 from 1990 levels.
A coalition comprised of the Independent Power Producers of New York State (IPPNYS), the Business Council of New York State, Inc., the AFL-CIO, and the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council recently wrote, “The current draft Scoping Plan is complicated, could greatly impact affordability for ratepayers, has no comprehensive analysis of implementation costs for ratepayers, and could have a detrimental effect on the economy and ALL New Yorkers.”
Read more at The Albany Times Union
U.S. Retail Spending Falls
Retail sales for November declined 0.6%. The number is not adjusted for inflation as gauged by the Labor Department’s consumer price index, which increased 0.1% in November, which also was below expectations. Measures that exclude autos and both autos and gas sales both showed 0.2% declines. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales increased 6.5%, compared with a CPI inflation rate of 7.1%.
The pullback was widespread across categories. Furniture and home furnishings stores reported a decrease of 2.6%, building materials and garden centers were off 2.5%, and motor vehicle and parts dealers dropped 2.3%. Even with declining gas prices, service stations sales were down just 0.1%. Online sales also decreased, falling 0.9%, while bars and restaurants increased 0.9%, and food and beverage stores rose 0.8%.
Americans Pessimistic About Prospects for the Economy in 2023, WSJ Poll Finds
A majority of voters think the economy will be in worse shape in 2023 than it is now and roughly two-thirds say the nation’s economic trajectory is headed in the wrong direction, the latest Wall Street Journal poll shows. The survey, conducted Dec. 3-7, suggests a recent burst of positive economic news—moderating gas prices and a slowing pace of inflation—haven’t altered the way many feel about the risk of a recession, something many economists have forecast as likely.
Economic pessimism is strongest among Republicans, with 83% expecting the economy to worsen. Slightly more than half of independents feel that way, while 22% of Democrats do. Younger voters are more pessimistic about the economy’s prospects next year than older voters. Roughly six in 10 of those ages 18-34 expect it to be worse over the next year, while 42% of those 65 and older feel that way.
US Places Chinese Chipmakers on Trade Blacklist
The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday blacklisted 36 Chinese companies including top producers of advanced computer chips, severely restricting their access to American technology. The move, which included semiconductor makers Cambricon and Yangtze Memory Technologies, aimed to limit China's "efforts to obtain and leverage advanced technologies including artificial intelligence for its military modernization efforts and human rights violations," the Commerce Department said.
The companies' placement on the so-called Entity List makes it nearly impossible for them to legally acquire directly or indirectly U.S. semiconductor manufacturing technology, designs and other intellectual property, hampering their production potential. Of the 36 names, 21 are identified as major firms involved in the research and design, marketing and sales of artificial intelligence chips with close ties to the Chinese defense sector. The Commerce Department's rules require any U.S. firm seeking to sell its technology to a Chinese company on the list to obtain a special permit, and getting those permits is almost impossible.
The New York Fed DSGE Model Forecast—December 2022
Compared to September, the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) outlook is again more pessimistic in terms of inflation but not very different in terms of real activity. Output growth is projected to be higher for 2022 (0.2 percent versus -0.7 percent), largely as a result of the fact that Q3 growth was higher than nowcasted by the SPF, but only slightly different from the previous projections thereafter (-0.3 percent versus -0.4 percent in 2023, -0.0 percent versus 0.1 percent in 2024, and 0.4 percent versus 0.7 percent in 2025). The model still sees a recession over the next few quarters as likely.
The model views higher inflation as less due to transitory factors such as supply disruptions and more to persistent factors. The model projects inflation to be 4.8 percent in 2022, up 0.7 percentage point relative to September, and to decline only gradually thereafter (to 3.4, 2.8, and 2.6 percent in 2023, 2024, and 2025, respectively, versus 3.1, 2.6, and 2.4 in September). Because of the flat Phillips curve, tighter policy has a limited effect on the projected course of inflation.
Child Workers Found Throughout Hyundai-Kia Supply Chain in Alabama
At least four major suppliers of Hyundai Motor Co. and sister Kia Corp. have employed child labor at Alabama factories in recent years, a Reuters investigation found, and state and federal agencies are probing whether kids have worked at as many as a half dozen additional manufacturers throughout the automakers' supply chain.
The news follows a Reuters report in July that revealed the use of child workers, one as young as 12, by SMART Alabama LLC, a Hyundai subsidiary in the south Alabama town of Luverne. In August, the U.S. Department of Labor said that SL Alabama LLC, another Hyundai supplier and a unit of South Korea's SL Corp., employed underage workers, including a 13-year-old, at its factory in Alexander City. Since then, as many as 10 Alabama plants that supply parts to Hyundai or Kia have been investigated for child labor by various state and federal law enforcement or regulatory agencies, according to two people familiar with the probes.
Middle Managers Are Exhausted. Here are 4 Ways to Help
While the past few years have been tumultuous and overwhelming for just about everyone, middle managers have faced extraordinary challenges. As businesses have gone from crisis to crisis, the number of complex responsibilities that have suddenly been thrust onto managers is astounding. With each new challenge, organizations have told managers that the solutions involve them engaging in new forms of leadership.
Challenges have required managers to stretch beyond the leadership skill sets that many possess or were trained for. For example, managers used to be trained to avoid asking their employees questions about their personal lives, for fear that employees might perceive some form of bias. Now, suddenly, managers are being told that they must engage in deep conversations with their employees in order to adjust for their unique work-life challenges. These changes in expectations can add additional stress for managers as they aim to strike a balance in developing deeper relationships while avoiding any perceptions of bias. Here are four solutions that organizations can implement that can close the exhaustion gap for people managers.
Read more at MIT Sloan Management Review
Hudson Valley Job Growth Stalls in November, Up 3.6% Year on Year
Private sector jobs in the Hudson Valley rose over the year by 27,800, or 3.6 percent, to 799,500 in November, but fell by 1,100 for the for the month. In November growth was centered in trade and transportation services (+3,700) education and health services (+2700); and government (+1,400) Manufacturers shed 500 jobs from October to November.
New jobs grew the most in Sullivan County at 6.8 percent. Ulster County saw 2.0 percent job growth. The Orange-Rockland-Westchester Metro Area had a 1.1 percent growth in jobs.
Read more at Material Handling & Logistics
Weekly Jobless Claims Decrease
A report from the Labor Department showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 during the week ended Dec. 10. Last week's decrease in claims was the largest since July and pushed them to a three-month low. There were large decreases in unadjusted claims in California, New York, Georgia and Texas.
Though claims have swung up and down in recent weeks, they have stayed below the 270,000 threshold, which economists said would raise a red flag for the labor market, despite a wave of layoffs in the technology sector. The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid, a proxy for hiring, rose 1,000 to 1.671 million in the week ending Dec. 3. While that was the highest reading since February, the pace of increase in the so-called continuing claims has slowed from prior weeks.
Rolls-Royce Car Plant Workers Win Pay Deal Worth Up to 17.6%
Workers at Rolls-Royce’s UK car factory have won a pay deal worth up to 17.6 per cent, their largest-ever, the Unite union said, as the country faces a wave of strikes over the cost of living crisis. The deal, which is made up of a 10 per cent salary increase and a £2,000 one-off payment, will apply to all 1,200 workers at the Goodwood plant in the south of England, the only site where Rolls-Royces are built.
Wage growth in the private sector has accelerated since the summer. In November BT agreed to hand staff pay rises of between 6 per cent and 16 per cent after 40,000 employees went out on strike. Rolls-Royce said on Friday that it was “pleased” about the deal, adding that “negotiations were cordial and constructive throughout”.
Read more at The Financial Times
SUNY New Paltz Engineering 2022 Virtual Engineering Project Review Videos
The SUNY New Paltz Division of Engineering takes pride in it’s focus on developing skills through project-based courses and the most upper division courses include a design project. The design experience culminates in a two-semester Senior Design Project performed by student teams, under faculty supervision. All projects, as well as laboratory experiments and undergraduate research, are done in state-of-the-art laboratories.
The Division of Engineering Programs invites Council of Industry members to view the projects and prototypes of their Senior Design students. You are invited to enjoy the video presentations and provide your valuable professional feedback in the comments section. This will help our students as they prepare to present their final Senior Design projects at the Annual Engineering Design EXPO in May 2023.