WASHINGTON – Manufacturing in New York state expanded in November, ending three straight months of contraction.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says its Empire State index rose to a reading of 1.5 this month, up from minus 6.8 in October. Anything above zero signals expansion.
Weaknesses still persist for New York factories despite the slight upswing. New orders and shipments turned positive this month, but manufacturers still appear to have shed workers and cut back on hours. Prices paid and received by manufacturers grew modestly.
Manufacturers have been hampered by a strong dollar, which makes their goods more expensive abroad. Slow economic growth worldwide has also hurt demand. Manufacturers’ outlook for the next six months became less optimistic in November compared to October.
Separate reports suggest that manufacturing is still overcoming a prolonged bout of sluggishness.
The Fed said last month that overall factory production rose 0.2 per cent in September, although production for the past years has been flat.
The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index came in at 51.9 in October. Anything above 50 signals growth. Production and export orders grew faster in October. A measure of factory employment rose last month after falling for three straight months.