By Ed Frankl
Manufacturing activity in New York state ticked down in October, as demand continues to be fragile, although firms remain relatively optimistic about future conditions.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey's general business conditions index weakened to minus 4.6 from a positive reading of 1.9 a month earlier, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed Monday.
The reading, which sank below the zero threshold that marks the difference between expansion and contraction, is nevertheless better than the minus 6 forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
Of the components making up the survey, new orders ticked negative, while shipments were little changed. Unfilled orders declined at a steeper pace than September, delivery times shortened, and inventories were just below the threshold marking contraction, according to the survey.
Meanwhile, labor-market indicators pointed to a slight increase in employment and the average workweek, the NY Fed said.
The pace of input-price increases was similar to last month, while the pace of increasing selling prices moderated, it added.
But firms remained positive about the six-month outlook, with the index there declining to 23.1 from 26.3, still in positive figures.
"New orders and shipments are expected to increase ... and employment is expected to grow," the NY Fed added.
Write to Ed Frankl at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 16, 2023 08:52 ET (12:52 GMT)Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.