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New York manufacturing index has first negative reading in 18 months

By Eric Reinhardt (


Visual credit: Federal Reserve Bank of New York website

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey general business-conditions index plummeted in January to -0.7, ending 18 months of positive readings.

The January reading — based on firms responding to the survey — indicates business activity in New York “abruptly leveled off,” the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in its Tuesday report.

A positive index number indicates expansion or growth in manufacturing activity, while a negative reading shows a decline in the sector.

The survey found 22 percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 23 percent said that conditions had worsened, the New York Fed said.

The index — the monthly gauge on New York’s manufacturing sector — rose slightly to 31.9 in the December survey and had climbed 11 points to 30.9 in November.

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.

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