Tags: ECONOMY | EMPIRE STATE MANUFACTURING INDEX | NEW YORK

N.Y. Manufacturing Index Drops Less Than Expected

Monday, 15 Mar 2010 09:52 AM

A gauge of manufacturing in New York state fell by less than forecast in March as employment in the sector rose to its highest since October 2007, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Monday.

At the same time, U.S. industrial output edged up 0.1 percent in February as expected, likely restrained by severe winter storms that hit parts of the country while foreign investors overall were net sellers of US securities.

The New York Fed's "Empire State" general business conditions index dropped to 22.86 this month from 24.91 in February.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 22.00 for March.

U.S. industrial output edged up 0.1 percent in February as expected, likely restrained by severe winter storms that hit parts of the country, the Federal Reserve said.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.1 percent gain after an unrevised 0.9 percent increase in January.

Compared to the same period a year earlier, industrial production rose 1.7 percent.

Manufacturing dipped 0.2 percent last month after growing a revised 0.9 percent in January, previously reported as a 1.0 percent advance. Mining increased 2.0 percent, adding to the 1.1 percent rise in January.

Utilities gained 0.5 percent in February after a 0.6 percent rise the prior month.

Consumer goods production fell 0.4 percent, while business equipment output increased 0.4 percent last month. Materials advanced 0.3 percent in February.

Capacity utilization, a measure of slack in the economy, inched up to 72.7 percent, the highest since December 2008, from 72.5 percent in January. That was still 7.9 percentage points below the average from 1972 to 2009, the Fed said.

In other economic news, foreign investors sold a net $33.4 billion of all U.S. securities in January but remained net buyers of U.S. Treasury debt, the Treasury Department said.

January's overall outflow, which includes short-term securities such as Treasury bills, reverses a net inflow of $53.6 billion recorded in December.

Official buyers sold a record net $34.1 billion, the most since they sold $26.3 billion in September 1998, according to Treasury data.

Long-term securities saw a net inflow of $19.1 billion, though that was below December's $63.3 billion net inflow.

Overseas investors were net buyers of Treasurys to the tune of $61.4 billion, down from $69.9 billion in December.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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A gauge of manufacturing in New York state fell by less than forecast in March as employment in the sector rose to its highest since October 2007, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Monday. At the same time, U.S. industrial output edged up 0.1 percent in...
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