Business activity remained negative in New York state in February, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey.
The New York Fed’s Empire State headline general business conditions index—a gauge of manufacturing activity in the state— increased 27 points from January but was still negative at -5.8.
Twenty-six percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 32% said conditions had worsened.
The New Orders index rose 23 points to -7.8, though this still signifies a small decline in orders. However, the Shipments Index ticked up to 0.1, signaling that shipments were holding steady.
The index for number of employees slumped to -6.6, the first negative reading in over two years. This indicates employment levels dropped for the first time since early in the pandemic, the New York Fed said in their release.
However, there were some bright points. The index for future business conditions jumped seven points to 14.7, which means companies expect some improvement over the next six months, according to the survey. Likewise, new orders and shipments are seen increasing somewhat, and delivery times are expected to shorten further, the New York Fed said.
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By Ethan Bernard, firstname.lastname@example.org