New York Manufacturing Index Unexpectedly Indicates Slightly Faster Contraction

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report on Wednesday showing regional manufacturing activity unexpectedly contracted at a slightly faster rate in the month of May.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index edged down to a negative 15.6 in May from a negative 14.3 in April, with a negative reading indicating contraction. Economists had expected the index to rise to a negative 10.0.

The report continued to show a significant decrease in new orders, as the new orders index edged down to a negative 16.5 in May from a negative 16.2 in April.

The number of employees index also dipped to a negative 6.4 in May from a negative 5.1 in April, indicating a slightly faster decrease in jobs.

Meanwhile, the shipments index jumped to a negative 1.2 in May from a negative 14.4 in April, although the negative reading still indicates a contraction.

The report also said the prices paid index fell to 28.3 in May from 33.7 in April, while the prices received index slipped to 14.1 from 16.9.

Looking ahead, the New York Fed said optimism about the outlook remained subdued, although firms still expect conditions to improve over the next six months.

The index for future business conditions edged down to 14.5 in May from 16.7 in April, with about a quarter of respondents expecting conditions to be worse in six months.

On Thursday, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on regional manufacturing activity in the month of May.

The Philly Fed Index is expected to decrease to 8.0 in May from 15.5 in April, but a positive reading would still indicate growth.

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