A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Friday unexpectedly showed a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of November.
The New York Fed said its headline general business conditions index edged down to 2.9 in November from 4.0 in October, although a positive reading still indicates an increase in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 5.0.
The unexpected decrease by the headline index was partly due to a slowdown in the pace of growth in shipments, as the shipments index dropped to 8.8 in November from 13.0 in October.
The report said the prices paid index also fell to 20.5 in November from 23.1 in October, while the prices received index slipped to 6.2 from 6.3.
On the other hand, the new orders index rose to 5.5 in November from 3.5 in October and the number of employees index climbed to 10.4 from 7.6.
The New York Fed said the indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggest optimism about future conditions remains subdued.
The index for future business conditions rose to 19.4 in November from 17.1 in October, as the index for future unfilled orders turned positive for the first time in several months and the capital expenditures index jumped ten points.
Next Thursday, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is scheduled to release a separate report on regional manufacturing activity in the month of November.