New York Fed Factory Gauge Falls to Four-Month Low in December

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Manufacturing in New York State expanded in December at the slowest pace in four months as new orders cooled, though expectations for future conditions picked up in a sign of optimism that vaccines bring the pandemic’s end in sight.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general business conditions index decreased to 4.9 from 6.3 a month earlier, according to a report Tuesday that fell below estimates in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. The index indicated little growth in activity for Empire State producers, though it held above zero, the line between expansion and contraction, for a sixth-straight month.

New York Fed Factory Gauge Falls to Four-Month Low in December

The Fed bank’s index of economic conditions over the next six months rose to a three-month high of 36.3 from 33.9, while the measure of expectations for prices paid climbed to the most elevated reading in two years.

The current gauge of new orders fell modestly to a four-month low while the shipment index increased. The labor market was a bright spot as the reading for the number of employees indicated that hiring expanded at the best pace in two years.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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