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New York manufacturing conditions stay negative in February

PHOTO CREDIT: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey general business-conditions index remained in negative territory for a seventh straight month in February, indicating widespread weakness across the manufacturing sector in New York state.

After dropping to its lowest level since the Great Recession in January, the general business-conditions index edged up three points to -16.6 in February, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in its news release issued Tuesday.

Still, a reading below zero represents a decline in manufacturing activity while a positive number shows expansion.

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The new orders and shipments indexes indicated an “ongoing decline” in both orders and shipments, according to the New York Fed.

Price indexes suggested a “slight increase” in input prices and a small drop in selling prices.

Employment levels “steadied,” while the average-workweek index pointed to a decrease in hours worked.

The latest survey also pointed to further weakness in New York’s manufacturing conditions ahead.

The six-month outlook remained “weak,” with the index for future general-business conditions rising “only slightly” from last month’s multi-year low, but staying in negative territory.

The New York Fed distributes the Empire State Manufacturing Survey on the first day of each month to the same pool of about 200 manufacturing executives in New York. On average, about 100 executives return responses.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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