New York-area manufacturing activity was little changed in the month of September, 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 dipped to 2.0 in September from 4.8 in August, although a positive reading still indicates an increase in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 4.0.
The report said the new orders fell to 3.5 in September from 6.7 in August, while the shipments index slid to 5.8 from 9.3, hitting its lowest level in nearly three years.
On the other hand, the report said the number of employees index jumped to a positive 9.7 in September from a negative 1.6 in August, indicating an increase in employment after three months of contraction.
The prices paid index also climbed to 29.4 in September from 23.2 in August, while the prices received index rose to 9.2 from 4.5.
Looking ahead, the New York Fed said indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that optimism about future conditions waned.
The index for future business conditions tumbled to 13.7 in September from 25.7 in August, with the capital expenditures index plunging to a three-year low.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is scheduled to release a separate report on regional manufacturing activity in the month of September.
The Philly Fed Index is expected to drop to 12.0 in September from 16.8 in August, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity.