Factory activity across New York state remained in positive territory, according to a report from the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, and firms remained optimistic about future conditions.
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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's general business conditions index came in at 6.5 this month from a reading of 7.6 in December. Results below zero represent a contraction. It was the third consecutive month of a positive reading.
American factory activity has been pressured by weaker global demand, a strong dollar that makes U.S. goods more expensive abroad and an energy rout that has led oil-sector firms to slash budgets. But shipments and new orders remained positive in the latest month, and inventories edged higher for the first time in more than a year. Still, labor market conditions for manufacturers remained weak.
Indexes for the six-month outlook signaled that firms are highly optimistic about their economic situation, with the index for future business conditions unchanged at a reading of 49.7, matching last month's multiyear high, according to the report. Firms expect strong growth in employment and in hours added.
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