Business activity in New York State has recovered slightly according to the latest index which came in at 8.8 compared to 7 expected according to the New York Federal Reserve.
- The Empire State Manufacturing Index climbed 4.9 points, 1.8 points higher than expected.
- New orders grew while the indexes for number of employees and average workweek fell, as did the prices paid index.
- Selling prices are increasing and the six-month outlook is significantly improved.
The modest rebound was led by heightened activity in new orders which climbed 4 points to 7.5 according to the press release, while shipments fell 8 points to its lowest level in over a year, coming in at 10.4. The index for number of employees dipped 3 points to 4.1 while the average workweek index dropped to 2.5. Prices paid also dropped for the third consecutive month, falling a whole 9 points to 27.1.
With a reading of above 0, the index is still showing growth, but levels are significantly below those seen last year, with November’s reading over double that seen in February at 21.4. The report indicates an increase in jobs and hours worked as well as a drop in input prices and an increase in selling prices, with the six-month outlook improving in February.
The drop off in the Empire State Manufacturing Index in recent months has been reflected in all other manufacturing indexes and indicators with trade protectionism and global economic concerns as well as a strong dollar all impacting industry activity.
While typically volatile on a month-to-month basis, these indexes can be viewed long-term to gauge the health of manufacturing and its role in the economy.
— Trading Economics (@tEconomics) February 15, 2019
"Business activity grew modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the February 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity grew, though like last month, at a significantly slower pace than much of last year," the report said.
Gold has held strong gains in the face of the mixed/positive manufacturing data which had the potential to create selling pressure but seems to have had little impact.
Spot gold last traded up 0.58% at $1,314.52/oz with a high of $1,319.55/oz and a low of $1,310.66/oz.