Empire State Manufacturing Slows in August

Written by Sandy Williams

Manufacturing activity in the New York region slowed in August, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Empire State Manufacturing Index slid 14 points to 3.7 in August, well below economists’ estimates in the range of 14-17. A reading above zero indicates activity is expanding.

“After increasing significantly in July for the first time since the pandemic began, manufacturing activity in New York State grew only slightly in August,” said the Federal Reserve Bank.

The new orders index plunged 16 points to 1.7 indicating only a moderate increase in orders. The shipments index followed suit with a 12-point plummet to 6.7.

Survey participants indicated that delivery times remained steady, but unfilled orders and inventories declined. Selling prices increased for the first time since March, while input prices remained little changed.

The employment index inched up 2.4 points, but the average workweek index fell 6.8 points, indicating fewer hours worked.

Looking forward, most firms remained optimistic that business conditions would improve during the next six months, but were less confident than they were in June and July. The future indexes for general business conditions and new orders both dropped 4-plus points in August. The future shipments index dropped 8.6 points.

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