A gauge of manufacturing in New York State advanced for a third straight month in July, consistent with a reopening of the economy that is generating more orders and shipments.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general business conditions index jumped to 17.2, the highest level since November 2018, from minus 0.2 a month earlier, a report out Wednesday showed. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for the overall gauge to climb to 10.
A reading above zero indicates expansion, and the measure has rebounded sharply since plunging in April to an all-time low of minus 78.2. The Empire State report is the first of several regional Fed manufacturing indexes to be released this month.
The bank’s gauges of orders and shipments rose to the highest levels since February, while its measure of employment was barely positive and signaling factories were keeping headcounts relatively steady.
Optimism among New York manufacturers about economic conditions over the next six months cooled. The regional Fed bank’s future index dropped 18.1 points to 38.4 after climbing in June to the highest level since 2009. At the same time, firms indicated they expect to boost employment in the coming months as the measure advanced to an almost one-year high.
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