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New York City business outlook raises yellow flags

Men working in construction move debris in New York City.
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Men working in construction move debris in New York City.

New York City's business activity in September contracted for the first time in eight months, according to a report released on Friday. (Tweet this)

A survey by the Institute for Supply Management-New York showed that the city's business "weakness was widespread" and all but one index posted sizable declines compared to the previous month.

The report's market of current business conditions fell to 44.5 in September, a six year low. Job growth contracted by the most in 17 months while purchase volume abruptly stopped growing and shrank by the most in that same period. Readings below 50 indicate contraction.

According to the report, competition, the cost of benefits and the cost of labor were the biggest obstacles to businesses. On the other hand, occupancy, domestic demand and energy costs presented opportunities.