By Xavier Fontdegloria
Manufacturing activity in the New York State further slowed in November, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed Monday.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey's general business conditions index fell to 6.3 in November compared with a 10.5 reading the prior month.
The reading misses expectations from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, who had expected the indicator to climb to 12.1.
November's reading shows that economic activity in the New York State's manufacturing sector grew for the fifth consecutive month, but its expansion pace eased compared with October. Since July, when the index recovered pre-crisis levels with the reopening of factories, the indicator has remained within the expansion territory but without a clear trajectory.
"Manufacturing activity in New York State expanded only to a small degree in November," the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said.
The survey is sent to the same pool of about 200 manufacturing executives in New York state. Participants from across the state in a variety of industries respond to a questionnaire and report the change in several indicators from the previous month. A positive index reading means activity is expanding, while a negative reading indicates contraction.
In November, 31% of respondents said conditions had improved in the month, while 24% reported that conditions had worsened compared with October.
The new orders index fell nine points to 3.7 and the shipments index decreased 12 points to 6.3, the N.Y. Fed said. Delivery times were little changed, while unfilled orders and inventories remained in negative territory.
The index for number of employees rose two points to 9.4, its highest level in almost a year, indicating a modest increase in employment levels. The average workweek index, however, fell 11 points to 4.8, the report said. Around 20% of firms said employment levels increased in November, while 11% reported a decrease.
The prices paid index was little changed at 29.1, while the prices received index moved up six points to 11.3, indicating a pickup in selling price increases.
Optimism among manufacturing firms in New York State held fairly steady in November, with the index for business conditions increasing only slightly to 33.9 from 32.8 in October, suggesting that firms in the area remained optimistic about future conditions.
The indexes for future new orders was positive, but decreased compared with October, the N.Y. Fed said, while the index for future employment points to a further increase in employment in the months ahead, albeit to a lesser degree than that suggested the prior month.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 16, 2020 08:47 ET (13:47 GMT)Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.