New York manufacturing shrinks in April for first time in 4 months as new orders fall

IndustriesAssociated Press

Manufacturing activity in New York shrank in April for the first time in four months, a sign that the strong dollar and sluggish consumer spending may be holding back factories.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index fell to negative 1.2 reading from a plus 6.9 in March. The latest reading is the lowest since December.

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A measure of new orders fell for the third straight month to negative 6, which suggests output may remain sluggish in the coming months. A gauge of hiring, however, rose.

The survey provides an early look at U.S. manufacturing each month. The New York Fed surveys 200 businesses in the state and typically receives responses from 100.