New York business conditions returned to expansion mode this month, although not as strongly as economists expected, according to data released Friday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The Empire State’s business conditions index edged up to 3.09 in May after falling to -1.19 in April from 6.90 in March.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the latest index to increase to 5.0. A reading above zero indicates expansion.
The miss in the factory report–while covering only a small geographic area–adds to worries about the firmness of the expansion in the second quarter. Economists already calculate the economy contracted slightly in the first quarter, but the monthly data so far in the spring do not point to a big rebound in activity.
However, New York state manufacturers are hiring fewer workers. The employment index slowed to 5.21 from 9.57 in April. The workweek index rebounded only to -2.08 after it plunged to -4.26 last month.
Read more: Fox Business