A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday showed a notably slower pace of growth in New York manufacturing activity in the month of April.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to 15.8 in April from 22.5 in March, although a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to drop to 18.6.
The bigger than expected decrease by the headline index was partly due to a significant slowdown in the pace of shipments growth, as the shipments index tumbled to 17.5 in April from 27.0 in the previous month.
New orders also saw notably slower growth during the month, with the new orders index slumping to 9.0 in April from 16.8 in March.
The number of employees index also slid to 6.0 in April from 9.4 in March, indicating a slowdown in the pace of job growth.
The report also said the prices paid index dipped to 47.4 in April from 50.3 in March, while the prices received index edged down to 20.7 from 22.4.
Looking ahead, the New York Fed said optimism about the six-month outlook plunged among manufacturing firms.
The index for future business conditions plunged to 18.3 in April from 44.1 in March, hitting its lowest level in more than two years.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is due to release its report on regional manufacturing activity in the month of April. The Philly Fed Index is expected to dip to 20.9 in April from 22.3 in March.