Activity in the New York manufacturing sector grew at a modestly slower rate in the month of March, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Wednesday.
The New York Fed said its business conditions index dipped to 16.4 in March from 18.7 in February, although a positive reading still indicates growth. Economists had expected the index to drop to 15.0.
The modest drop by the headline index came as the shipments index slid to 11.3 in March from 18.2 in February, indicating slower growth.
The prices paid index also fell to 31.0 in March from 37.8 in February, while the prices received index tumbled to 8.8 from 19.4.
On the other hand, the report said the new orders index climbed to 21.3 in March from 13.5 in February, reaching its highest level in several years.
The number of employees index also increased to 8.8 in March from 2.0 in February, pointing to an acceleration in the rate of job growth in the New York manufacturing sector.
Looking ahead, the New York said future indexes were generally lower, but the indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms remained highly optimistic about future conditions.
The report said the index for future business conditions dropped to 37.4 in March from 41.7 in the previous month.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is due to release its report on regional manufacturing conditions in March. The Philly Fed Index is expected to drop to 30.0 in March from 43.3 in February.
by RTT Staff Writer
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