The economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic was on clear display in the New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey released Monday.
This is the first piece of economic data to reflect the pandemic and it indicates a very heavy drag. General business conditions in the state have fallen to the lowest level since 2009.
From the New York Fed:
Business activity declined in New York State, according to firms responding to the March 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell thirty-four points to -21.5, its lowest level since 2009. The new orders index dropped to -9.3, pointing to a decline in orders, and the shipments index fell to -1.7. Delivery times lengthened slightly, and inventories increased. Employment levelled off, and the average workweek declined. Input price increases were little changed, while selling prices increased at a slower pace than last month. Optimism about the six-month outlook fell sharply, with firms less optimistic than they have been since 2009.
The grey area on the chart indicates a recession. We are likely to discover that this month’s survey results should also have a grey bar over it.