closed-industrial-building-water-tank-new-york-state-JayLazarin-iStock-Getty-Images.jpg JayLazarin/iStock/Getty Images
An empty industrial site near the Hudson River, Hastings, New York.

New York Fed Factory Index Shows Manufacturing Remains Subdued

The index grew by significantly less than the 2018 monthly average.

Manufacturing in New York state improved slightly but remained subdued this month, suggesting global weakness and trade tensions are still restraining U.S. factories.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State index rose by two points to 4 in October. Readings above zero indicate expansion, though the gauge remains well below the 2018 monthly average of 19.8. The data were posted early on the bank’s website ahead of Tuesday’s regularly scheduled release.

New York Fed officials didn’t immediately have a comment on the early release.

An index of new orders was unchanged from the prior month while shipments improved by the most in five months. The employment gauge showed slower hiring, and respondents were more optimistic about future activity, according to the figures.

Other reports this week will cover retail sales and national industrial production in September, as Fed policy makers prepare to gather at the end of the month and debate whether to cut interest rates for a third straight meeting.

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