Factory activity shrank in New York for the seventh straight month in February, though new orders and shipments ticked up a bit from very low levels.
The New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State manufacturing index rose to minus 16.6, up from minus 19.4 in the previous month. January’s level was the lowest since the Great Recession. Any reading below zero indicates contraction.
Factories are still suffering from a sharp rise in the value of the dollar and weak overseas growth, which has cut into export demand and reduced overseas profits.