Manufacturing activity in the New York area fell in March for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York
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The New York Fed’s Empire State general business conditions index dropped to -11.8 from 3.1 in February. That drop signaled the lowest reading since May 2020 and was below expectations of 7.0.
The new orders index plunged 12.6 points to -11.2 in March, as the shipments index stood at 2.9 in February. Labor market indicators signaled a modest increase in employment and a slightly longer average workweek.
The delivery times index rose 11.1 points to 32.7, and the inventories index stood at 21.5 in March, increasing from 11.7 in February.
24% of the survey respondents expect conditions to improve over the month, as 35% of the respondents stated that conditions had worsened.
Companies were slightly more optimistic than last month that conditions would improve in the upcoming six months.