New York Fed: Manufacturing Activity Eased a Little in December but Remained Strong Overall

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Manufacturing activity in the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s district eased a little in December but remained strong overall. In the latest Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the composite index of general business conditions declined from 19.4 in November to 18.0 in December. While this was the second straight deceleration in the headline index, off from the three-year high of 30.2 in October, the pace of expansion has remained robust, averaging 21.0 over the past seven months. The underlying indicators were somewhat mixed. On the positive side, shipments (up from 18.4 to 22.4) strengthened in December, with growth in new orders (down from 20.7 to 19.5) slowing slightly but still expanding at a healthy pace. Hiring (down from 11.5 to 5.1) also grew at its weakest rate since July, with the average employee workweek (up from -0.8 to zero) improving to neutral in this survey. Read More