NY Empire State Manufacturing: “Highest Since August”

The New York Federal Reserve reported on Friday a continuing contraction in its manufacturing sector. Although negative, the Empire State Manufacturing survey, which is used as a barometer of New York’s general business conditions, indicates that conditions in May for the State of New York manufacturers are moderating, showing that worst of the decline appears to be over.

The new orders index fell several points and remained below zero, while the shipments index inched into positive territory. The inventories index remained negative, but rose from last month’s record low. Employment indexes meanwhile remained in the doldrums, but were slightly improved from last month.

The general business conditions index in state, which is the survey’s most watched statistic, rose to -4.55 in May, it’s highest level since last August. Six-month outlook continues to be more optimistic. Future indexes improved markedly for a second consecutive month. The future general business conditions index rose 11 points to 43.8, its highest level since late 2007. The shipments index rose above zero for the first time since last summer, reaching 1.3.

In April, the ISM manufacturing index rose to 40.1%, the highest reading since September, raising hope that the deterioration in manufacturing was over.

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