Business activity picked up in New York State in recent weeks, the New York Fed said Monday.
The New York Fed’s Empire State business-conditions index hit a reading of 4.0, better than the previous reading of 2.0 and better than the 0.8 economists had forecast.
“Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity grew slightly this month but remained sluggish,” the New York Fed said in a report.
The survey’s gauge of employment rose as did shipments. New orders held steady.
The Empire State survey has been showing signs of distress for manufacturing since this summer. There are other indications that the manufacturing sector in the U.S. may be in a mini-recession. But the improved number in October could be an early indication that conditions are improving for the sector.
“Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that optimism about future conditions improved somewhat but remained subdued,” the NY Fed said.
The report was published a day early due to a technical error, the N.Y. Fed said on its website.