Manufacturing activity in New York grew at a somewhat slower rate in the month of February, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Thursday.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to 13.1 in February from 17.7 in January, although a positive reading still indicates growth. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 17.5.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 24 percent reported that conditions had worsened.
The report said the shipments index dipped to 12.5 in February from 14.4 in January, while the new orders rose to 13.5 from 11.9.
The number of employees index climbed to 10.9 in February from 3.8 in January, indicating an acceleration in the pace of job growth.
The New York Fed said input price growth picked up noticeably, with the prices paid index reaching its highest level in nearly six years.
The prices paid index jumped to 48.6 in February from 36.2 in January, while the prices received index edged down to 21.5 from 21.7.
Looking ahead, firms remained very optimistic about future business conditions. The index for future business conditions rose to 50.5 in February from 48.6 in January.