A gauge of manufacturing in New York state rose in November, ending five straight months of contraction, while the outlook for coming months strengthened, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report Tuesday.
The New York Fed's "Empire State" general business conditions index rose to 0.61, marking the first time the index has been in positive territory since May and up from minus 8.48 the month before. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of minus 2.1.
New orders fell to minus 2.07 from plus 0.16, while inventories dipped to minus 12.2 from minus 8.99.
Employment gauges were mixed. The index for the number of employees fell to minus 3.66 from plus 3.37 in October and the average employee workweek index rose to 2.44 from minus 4.49.
The index of business conditions six months ahead jumped to plus 39.02 in November, which was also the highest since May, from plus 6.74 in October.
"This suggests that there is some underlying stabilization in manufacturing, although there is not much upward momentum. The deterioration that we saw in the summer does not seem to be continuing," said Sean Incremona, economist at 4Cast Ltd in New York.
The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is one of the earliest monthly guideposts to U.S. factory conditions.
The index also offered some hints of good news on the inflation front, with the prices paid index receding to plus 18.29, the lowest since November 2009, from plus 22.47 in October.
U.S. stock futures pared losses, while Treasury debt prices pared gains after the release of the data, which came out alongside numbers on October retail sales and producer prices.
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