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Empire State manufacturing index slows in April

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Bloomberg


Few were bowled over by April’s manufacturing survey.

A gauge of New York area manufacturing slowed considerably in April, possibly a sign that the euphoria of the business community after the election of President Donald Trump is beginning to wear off.

The Empire State manufacturing survey fell to a reading of 5.2 in April from a two-year high of 16.4 in March, according to the New York Fed on Monday.

Consensus expectations were for a reading near March’s levels.

The survey still shows improving conditions, since the index was above zero. But a number of key components to the survey, including new orders and shipments, also declined.

A number of surveys of both businesses and consumers improved considerably after Trump’s election, on hopes for some combination of deregulation, tax cuts and infrastructure spending. But optimism has waned as the Republican-led Congress failed to get a health-care measure through and has been divided on how to proceed on other key economic initiatives.

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The prices-paid component did edge higher, rising to 32.8 from 31, a signal perhaps of inflationary pressures that official measures aren’t picking up.

Also up: the component on number of employees, which rose to 12.4 from 8.8.

The Empire State index is the first of a series of monthly regional manufacturing surveys.



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