New York Manufacturing Activity Accelerates in June

New York manufacturers report the strong pick-up in activity seen in May continues to hold in June, according to data released Monday.

The Empire State's business conditions index edged up to 19.28 this month after jumping to 19.01 in May from 1.29 in April, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

A reading above zero indicates expansion.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the latest index to slow to 15.0.

The solid June report suggests the economy is doing better after mixed economic reports covering May.

According to the New York Fed report, 40% of respondents "reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 21% reported that conditions had worsened."

The New York Fed subindexes show growth is holding at a solid pace this month.

The new-orders index rose to a four-year high of 18.36 from 10.44 in May and a contractionary -2.77 in April.

The shipments index slowed to 14.15 from 17.44 in May, while the inventory index rose to 9.68 from 2.20.

Demand for labor was mixed this month. The employment index fell back to 10.75 after rising to 20.88 in May from 8.16 in April. The workweek index jumped to 9.68 in June from 2.20.

Both price measures eased this month. The prices-received index slowed again to 4.30 in June from 6.59 in May, which was down from 10.20 in April. The prices-paid index eased to 17.20 from 19.78 in May and 22.45 in April.

"As in May, indexes for the six-month outlook conveyed a strong degree of optimism about future business conditions," the report said.

The general business conditions expectations index for the next six months slipped to 39.84 from 43.96 last month. The employee expectations index rose to 20.43 from 17.58.

The New York Fed survey is the first monthly factory report released by regional Fed banks. The Philadelphia Fed is scheduled to release its regional report on Thursday.

Economists use the Fed surveys as guideposts to forecast the health of the national industrial sector as captured in the monthly manufacturing report done by the Institute for Supply Management.