The Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed "business activity grew at a robust pace in New York State," the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Monday, as the general business conditions index soared to 30.2 in October from 24.4 in September.

The October reading was the highest in three years, the Fed said.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index would be 20.7.

The new orders index fell to 18.0 from 24.9, while the shipments index gained to 27.5 from 16.2, and unfilled orders slid to 2.3 from 8.9, the Fed said.

The delivery time index dropped to 3.1 from 14.6, while the inventories index declined to negative 7.8 from positive 6.5 in the prior survey. The prices paid index decreased to 27.3 from 35.8, while the prices received index fell to 7.0 from 13.8. The number of employees index grew to 15.6 from 10.6, while the average employee workweek index declined to zero from 5.7, the Fed reported.

Looking six months into the future, the general business conditions index rose to 44.8 from 39.3 last month. The new orders index increased to 44.8 from 43.7, while the shipments index gained to 43.4 from 37.0, and unfilled orders jumped to 6.3 from 0.8, the Fed said. The delivery time index reversed to negative 0.8 from positive 1.6, while the inventories index grew to 9.4 from 8.9.

The prices paid index slid to 41.4 from 42.3, while the prices received index rose to 25.0 from 18.7. The number of employees index gained to 17.2 from 13.8 while the average employee workweek index climbed to 4.7 from 4.1, the Fed reported. The capital expenditures index decreased to 21.9 from 24.4. The technology spending index fell to 16.4 from 17.1.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.