April 15, 2009

New York manufacturing climbs from lows

Manufacturing activity in New York state rose sharply above the low set in March, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said.

The bank's general business conditions index -- from data complied from 175 businesses in a survey taken April 1-12 -- surged 24 points from a low of negative 38.7 to a negative 14.7, the New York Fed said.

The index uses a break-even point of zero, meaning the record contraction in March slowed considerably.

The percentage of respondents in the survey indicating improved condition rose from 10 percent in March to 24 percent in April, the bank said.

The new orders index shot up 41 points to minus 3.9, the bank said. The shipments index rose 24.9 percentage points to negative 1.8.

The month also saw improvements in unfilled orders, which gained 6 percentage points to minus 18.

Prices manufacturers paid was unchanged from March, holding at minus 14.6, but the prices manufacturers received gained 6 percentage points to minus 18, the report said.

In summation, future indexes suggest a significant improvement in the six-month outlook compared with readings in the last few months, the report said.