After reporting an unexpected slowdown in the pace of growth in New York manufacturing activity in the previous month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report on Monday showing growth picked up somewhat in April but remained fairly subdued.
The New York Fed said its headline general business conditions index climbed to 10.1 in April after falling to 3.7 in March, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to rise to 6.0.
The bigger than expected increase by the headline index came as the new orders index rose to 7.5 in April from 3.0 in March. The shipments index also inched up to 8.6 from 7.7.
On the other hand, the report said the number of employees index edged down to 11.9 in April from 13.8 in March, indicating modestly slower job growth.
The prices paid index also slumped to 27.3 in April from 34.1 in March, while the prices received index slid to 14.0 from 18.1.
Looking ahead, the New York Fed said optimism about the six-month outlook was much lower than in the previous month.
The index for future business conditions tumbled to 12.4 in April from 29.6 in March, hitting its lowest level in over three years.
The indexes for future new orders and shipments were also well below last month's levels, although firms continue to expect solid increases in employment and hours worked in the months ahead.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on regional manufacturing activity in April. The Philly Fed Index is expected to drop to 10.3 in April from 13.7 in March.