Economic Report: Empire State manufacturing index rebounds in April but growth still ‘fairly subdued’

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Senior economics reporter

An employee pulls a crucible of molten glass from a furnace at a Corning Inc. plant in Corning, New York.

The numbers: Factory production in New York state picked up somewhat in April but remained “fairly subdued.” The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index rebounded to a reading of 10.1 from a nearly two-year low of 3.7 in March. Economists had expected a reading of 10, according to a survey by Econoday.

Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions.

What happened: The new-orders index rose 4.5 points to 7.5 in April, while shipments inched up 0.9 points to 8.6. Inventory levels picked up while inflation pressures cooled. Optimism about the longer-term waned in April. The index for future business conditions dropped 17 points to 12.4 in April, its lowest level in more than three years.

Big picture: Manufacturing has struggled this year, in part because of a slowdown in manufacturing in China. The Empire State index has averaged 6.6 this year, down from 19.8 in 2018.

Market reaction: U.S. stock index futures YMM9, -0.03%   were little changed Monday after earnings from Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Citigroup Inc. On Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.03%  gained 269 points.

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