New York Manufacturing Expands Most Since 2018 as Prices Climb

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Manufacturing in New York expanded in March by the most since November 2018 as a growing number of factories in the state reported paying more for materials and charging higher prices.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general business conditions index rose to 17.4 from 12.1 a month earlier, a report Monday showed. Figures above zero indicate expansion, and the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a reading of 15.

Prices paid for materials increased 6.6 points to 64.4, while a gauge of prices received edged up 0.8 point to 24.2 -- both the highest since May 2011. More manufacturers also said they expect higher input costs and prices received in the next six months.

New York Manufacturing Expands Most Since 2018 as Prices Climb

Delivery times also lengthened, with the gauge rising to the highest since June 2018, and unfilled orders increased as the pandemic continued to disrupt supply chains. As a result, factory hiring is seen picking up over the next six months.

The Fed bank’s measure of future employment jumped 14.8 points to 31.4, the highest since June 2010.

The Empire State report is the first of several regional Fed manufacturing indexes to be released this month.

The bank’s gauge of shipments surged by 17.1 points to 21.1, the strongest reading since November 2018.

Optimism about economic conditions over the next six months increased among New York manufacturers. The regional Fed bank’s future index rose to 36.4 from 34.9.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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