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New York manufacturing activity growth further slows in February

The growth of manufacturing activity in New York further slowed in February from last month despite slight changes in new orders and shipments, but firms remained optimistic about the business conditions for the next six months.

The headline general business conditions index dropped 4.6 points to 13.1 in February from 17.7 in January, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed.

New orders index edged up 1.6 points to 13.5 for the month from 11.9 last month, while shipments edged down 1.9 points to 12.5 in January from 14.4 in the previous month.

Unfilled orders also posted a slight increase in February, inching up 0.6 point to 4.9 from 4.3 in January.

The delivery time index signaled lengthened delivery times as it rose 7.5 points to 11.1, while the inventories index declined 8.9 points to 4.9.

Manufacturing firms remained optimistic about the business conditions for the next six months as the index for future business conditions rose 1.9 points to 50.5 in February. The index for future delivery times reached a record high of 15.3.

The index for future prices paid stood at 52.1, remaining close to last month's multiyear high, while the capital expenditures index, although falling to 31.9, showed that firms' capital spending remained strong.