Responses from New York State manufacturers suggested that business activity expanded at a considerably slower pace than in the prior two months. Although the general business conditions index remained above the levels seen through most of 2016, it slipped eleven points to 5.2. ...This was well below the consensus forecast of 15.
Employment indexes continued to signal strength in the labor market. The index for number of employees climbed another five points to 13.9—its highest level in just over two years. ...
Forward-looking indexes were mixed but generally at high levels, suggesting fairly widespread optimism about future conditions. The index for future business conditions rose three points to 39.9, while the future new orders and shipments indexes declined modestly. Employment and hours worked were expected to increase fairly briskly in the months ahead.