NY Fed’s Empire State manufacturing index contracts for first time in 7 months

The New York Federal Reserve’s index of manufacturing conditions contracted for the first time in seven months in May, as new orders and shipments turned negative, official data showed on Monday.

In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index fell to -1.0 this month from a reading of 5.2 in April. Analysts had expected the index to inch up to 7.0 in May.

On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, below indicates worsening conditions.

The new orders index dropped to -4.4, suggesting a small decline in orders, and the shipments index edged down to 10.6, indicating that shipments increased at a slightly slower pace than in April.

Labor market indicators pointed to a modest increase in both employment and hours worked, and input prices and selling prices rose at a more moderate pace.

Indexes assessing the six-month outlook were close to last month’s levels, and continued to convey a high degree of optimism about future conditions.

The Empire State index is of interest to traders primarily because it is seen as an early forecast of the national Institute for Supply management factory survey.

USD/JPY was at 113.45 from 113.55 ahead of the release of the data, EUR/USD was trading at 1.0973 from around 1.0968 earlier, while GBP/USD was at 1.2925 from 1.2922.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed open. The Dow futures pointed to an increase of 0.2%, the S&P 500 futures ticked up 0.2%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures shed 0.1%.

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,234.70 a troy ounce, compared to $1,234.00 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $49.54 a barrel from $49.52 earlier.

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