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New York manufacturing index plunges in October

By Eric Reinhardt


The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported today that its Empire State Manufacturing Survey general business-conditions index plummeted 21 points to 6.2 in October.

That missed analysts’ average estimate of a reading of 20.5 this month, according to Yahoo Finance data.

The index decline signals that the pace of growth “slowed significantly” from a strong September, according to a New York Fed news release posted on its website. But since the reading remained above zero, it indicates that the manufacturing sector in New York was still growing in October.

The general business-conditions index had risen nearly 13 points to 27.5 in September, its highest level since late 2009. Previous readings on the same index include 14.7 in August and 25.9 in July, according to the New York Fed.

A drop in the share of manufacturing respondents reporting that business conditions had improved relative to the preceding month drove the decline in the index in October. The share fell from 46 percent in September to 25 percent in October, while the share of respondents reporting worsening conditions was little changed at 19 percent.

The October survey also found the new-orders index dropped 19 points to -1.7 and the shipments index fell 26 points to 1.1, according to the New York Fed.

The employment index rose seven points to 10.2, pointing to an increase in employment levels, while the average-workweek index fell to a level just below zero.

Both price indexes fell this month, a sign that the pace of growth had “moderated” for input prices and selling prices.

Indexes for the six-month outlook were “somewhat lower” than last month, but continued to convey a “high degree of optimism” about future business conditions, the survey report said.

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

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