Manufacturing Facing Near-Term Headwinds – And Long-Term Growth
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey for January was released this week. Its findings correlate with my discussions with our members. They, too, have witnessed a softening in the economy. However, for quite a few MACNY members, future growth is expected and this year remains strong.

According to firms responding to the January 2023 Empire State Manufacturing Survey, business activity contracted sharply in New York State. General business conditions declined meaningfully. New orders and shipments declined substantially. However, delivery times held steady, and inventories edged higher. Employment growth stalled, and the average workweek shortened. Input price increases slowed considerably and selling price increases also moderated.

Looking ahead, firms expect little improvement in business conditions over the next six months. New orders and shipments are expected to rise somewhat, while employment is expected to increase only modestly. The capital spending index held steady, and the technology spending index rose.

Given the outlook ahead, we will advocate for additional focus on policies that grow the manufacturing and technology sectors. This would help soften the blow of the downturn in the economy. Many companies continue to face significant supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures that add to the downturn’s impact. However, long-term prospects for manufacturing remain very bright, and getting through this current economic climate will be critical in order to best prepare for future growth. Existing manufacturers remain our best hope for ongoing growth and set the stage for other investments expected over the next decade.

Also, we must keep our eye on growing the manufacturing workforce for today and tomorrow. The temporary slowdown due to recessionary pressures should not delay our attempts to attract significant talent now. Growing our workforce takes time, and we should not scale back. MACNY remains committed to helping each of our members develop a successful workforce strategy customized to their needs now and into the future. Our growing expertise and talented team are available to assist you. Please visit to learn more, or email us at [email protected] to get started with developing a strategy.

I have never been more optimistic concerning the future of manufacturing in Central and Upstate New York. We are strategically positioned to be successful. It will be up to our policymakers locally, in Albany, and in Washington to set the stage to take full advantage of the high-tech growth opportunities before us. Let’s commit to doing so – for growth now and for future generations to come.