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New York Manufacturing Activity Expands Further in September — NY Fed

Manufacturing activity in the New York State accelerated its expansion pace in September, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed Tuesday.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey’s general business conditions index rose to 17.0 in September from the 3.7 reading in August.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected the indicator to come in at 7.0.

Economic activity in New York State’s manufacturing sector reached its nadir in April amid the coronavirus pandemic, but improved since then and reached expansion territory and pre-pandemic levels in July. In August, the pace of growth slowed, but rose significantly again in September, posting its third consecutive positive reading.

“Business activity expanded at a solid clip in New York State,” the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said.

The survey is sent to the same pool of about 200 manufacturing executives in New York state. Participants from across the state in a variety of industries respond to a questionnaire and report the change in several indicators from the previous month. A positive index reading means activity is expanding, while a negative reading indicates contraction.

In September, 40% of respondents in the survey conducted between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9 said conditions had improved in the month, while 23% reported that conditions had worsened compared with August.

The new orders index climbed nine points to 7.1, indicating a modest increase in orders, and the shipments index rose seven points to 14.1, pointing to a significant increase in shipments, the NY Fed said.

The index for number of employees held steady at 2.6, indicating little change in employment levels. The average workweek index rose 14 points to 6.7, its first positive reading since the pandemic began, the report said.

Around 17% of firms said employment levels increased in September, while 14% reported a decrease.

Both the prices paid and the prices received indexes rose, pointing to a pickup in input prices and selling prices.

Optimism among manufacturing firms in New York State increased in September to 40.3 from 34.3 in August, suggesting that firms in the area remained optimistic to a greater degree than the prior month. The indexes for future new orders and future shipments posted similar readings, the NY Fed said, with firms expecting to increase employment in the months ahead.
Source: Dow Jones

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