NEW YORK – New York City business activity expanded at its fastest rate in thirteen months as the current business conditions index improved to 67.4 in March from 63.1 in February, the Institute for Supply Management-New York’s Report on Business index, released Tuesday, indicated.

“March marked the fifth straight month that the current business conditions index grew faster than the prior month, unprecedented in the survey’s 19-year history,” according to the release.

A reading above 50.0 indicates expansion.

The report’s six-month outlook index increased to 79.5 from 77.3, its highest level in more than a year. The NY-BCI climbed to 551.8 from 543.1.

The prices paid composite index rose to 59.3 this month from 53.0 last month, the quantity of purchases composite index grew to 51.1 from 45.5, and the supplier delivery time diffusion index gained to 52.4 from 51.6. Employment slipped to 51.2 from 54.4.

Businesses generally reported no impediments, although respondents saying, “skilled labor shortages” grew to 20% from 17% in the prior survey, while “working capital shortages” slipped to 20% from 29%.

Most respondents termed their organization as being in hiring mode, 58% looking to add employees.

 

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