Manufacturing activity in New York state declined for a second straight month in September due to steep drops in new orders and shipments, and employment in the sector also fell for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years, a New York Federal Reserve survey showed on Tuesday.
The New York Fed's Empire State general business conditions index came in at -14.7 for September, barely changed from -14.92 in August, which had been its lowest since April 2009.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of -0.75 this month. A reading below zero indicates contraction, and the August and September levels marked the first back-to-back contractions since a six-month run in negative territory between August 2012 and January 2013.
The index for the number of employees fell to -6.19 to mark the first drop in New York manufacturing employment since January 2013. It had read 1.82 in August.
The survey's index on future business conditions also soured, declining to 23.21 from 33.64 in August.
The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is one of the earliest monthly guideposts to U.S. factory conditions.
The new orders index was in negative territory for a fourth month at -12.91 compared with -15.70 in August, while shipment activity declined for the second month in a row to -7.98 from -13.79 in August.
The prices paid index fell to 4.12 from 7.27 in August, while prices received fell to -5.15 from 0.91 the previous month.