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New York Manufacturing Index Unexpectedly Indicates Contraction In August

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New York manufacturing activity has unexpectedly seen a substantial contraction in the month of August, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index plummeted to a negative 31.3 in August from a positive 11.1 in July, with a negative reading indicating a contraction in regional manufacturing activity.

Economists had expected the index to show a much more modest decrease to a positive 8.5.

The unexpected contraction in regional manufacturing activity came as the new orders plunged to a negative 29.6 in August from a positive 6.2 in July, while the shipments index dove to a negative 24.1 from a positive 25.3.

The report showed the number of employees index also fell to 7.4 in August from 18.0 in July, although a positive reading still indicates job growth.

The prices paid index also dropped to 55.5 in August from 64.3 in July, while the prices received index inched up to 32.7 from 31.3.

Looking ahead, the New York Fed said firms did not expect much improvement in business conditions over the next six months, although the index for future business conditions rose to a positive 2.1 in August from a negative 6.2 in July.

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