Investor Alert

Economic Report

Oct. 15, 2021, 8:36 a.m. EDT

New York factory activity moderates in October, Empire State survey shows

By Greg Robb

The numbers: The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index fell 14.5 points to 19.8 in October, the regional Fed bank said Friday.

Economists had expected a reading of 25, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal. 

Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions. The reading of 34.3 in September was the second highest reading in the wake of the pandemic.

Key details: The new-orders index slipped 9.4 points to 24.3 in October, and the shipments index sank 18 points to 8.9. Unfilled orders inched lower by 2.4 points to 18.5.

Delivery times widened a bit to a new record high and both the prices paid and prices received indexes held near record highs.

Optimism increased about the outlook for the next six months.

Big picture: Economists had expected a moderation as most other regional factory indexes cooled last month. Overall, the picture for manufacturing remains bring despite supply-chain disruptions and price pressures.

The Empire State survey is the first of several regional manufacturing indices to be released each month. Investors look at the data to get an early read on the national ISM factory index, which has been above the 50% break between contraction and expansion for 16 months. The October ISM data won’t come out until early next month. In September, the ISM factory index rose to 61.1% from 59.9% in the prior month.

Economists used the Empire State index to get a first read of the national ISM factory index.

Market reaction: Stocks (DOW:DJIA) (S&P:SPX) were set to open higher on Friday after strong gains in the prior trading session.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.