By Xavier Fontdegloria


Manufacturing activity in New York state gained further momentum in April, expanding at the quickest pace in more than three years, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed Thursday.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey's general business conditions index rose to 26.3 in April from 17.4 in March. This is the highest reading since October 2017.

The reading beats the consensus forecast from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, who expected the indicator to increase to 20.

Manufacturing activity in the state has grown for ten consecutive months, the survey signals, as the headline index has remained within expansion territory since July 2020.

The survey is sent to the same pool of about 200 manufacturing executives in New York state. Participants from across the state in a variety of industries respond to a questionnaire and report the change in several indicators from the previous month. A positive index reading means activity is expanding, while a negative reading indicates contraction.

"Manufacturing activity grew at a sturdy pace in New York State in April," the New York Fed said.

In April, 39% of respondents said conditions had improved in the month, while 12% reported that conditions had worsened compared with March.

The new orders index shot up eighteen points to 26.9 and the shipments index climbed to 25.0, pointing to strong gains in orders and shipments.

Supply chain bottlenecks remained widespread, respondents said. The delivery times index surged seventeen points to 28.1, breaking the previous record and pointing to significantly longer delivery times. Inventories were notably higher, the NY Fed said.

The index for number of employees increased five points to 13.9, and the average workweek index edged up to 12.7, indicating gains in employment and hours worked.

Both prices paid and prices received climbed further up. The prices paid index rose ten points to 74.7, its highest level since 2008. The prices received index rose almost eleven points to 34.9, a record high, indicating that selling prices increased at the fastest pace in more than twenty years.

Optimism among manufacturing firms in New York continued to increase in April, with the index for future business conditions rising three points to 39.8 from 36.4 in March.

The index for future new orders and employment all increased, with the latter climbing to a record high with close to half of firms expecting to increase employment in the months ahead, the report said.


Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 15, 2021 08:44 ET (12:44 GMT)

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