A gauge of manufacturing in New York state bounced higher in May after a sharp deterioration the month before as new orders and shipments rose, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Tuesday.
The New York Fed's "Empire State" general business conditions index jumped to 17.09 from 6.56 in April, by far outpacing economists' expectations of 8.50.
The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is one of the earliest monthly guideposts to U.S. factory conditions. The index unexpectedly dropped nearly 14 points in April, though manufacturing held up better at the national level with data showing the sector picked up steam last month.
The new orders index rose to 8.32 from 6.48, while shipments accelerated to 24.14 from 6.41. Employment gauges also improved. The index for the number of employees edged up to the highest level since May 2011 at 20.48 from 19.28 and the average employee workweek index climbed to 12.05 from 6.02.
Still, businesses were less optimistic about the coming months with the index of business conditions six months ahead falling to 29.26 from 43.12. It was the lowest level since October of last year.