Manufacturing in New York state contracted for the third straight month in October.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says its Empire State index slid to a reading of minus 6.8 this month, lowest since May and down from a minus 2 reading in September. Anything below zero signals contraction. Economists had expected the survey to show growth this month.
"Labor market conditions remained weak, with both employment levels and the average workweek reported as lower," the New York Fed said in its report. "The employment index increased ten points to -4.7 and the average workweek index edged up one point to -10.4, indicating that employment counts and hours worked continued to decline."
New orders, shipments and employment all fell this month, but at a slower pace than they did in September.
Prices paid and received by manufacturers grew modestly.
Manufacturers have been struggling with a strong dollar, which makes their goods pricier abroad, and weak investment in machinery by businesses cautious about global economic outlook. But the New York Fed found that manufacturers' outlook for the next six months is sunnier.
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