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Empire State Index Fell in March to Lowest Since 2017

Empire State Index Fell in March to Lowest Since 2017

Empire State Index Fell in March to Lowest Since 2017
Economic Indicators
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 12:30

Investing.com - Manufacturing activity in the New York area fell unexpectedly in March, in another sign that the U.S. economy is weakening as the effects of the 2017 tax cut fades while worries about the prolonged trade dispute with China mount.

The Empire State manufacturing index fell to a reading of 3.70, its third consecutive monthly reading below 10 and the lowest since May 2017.

“Growth has remained quite a bit slower so far this year than it was for most of 2018,” the New York Fed said in the report.

Despite the weaker reading, the New York Fed did note that “firms remain fairly optimistic” about the outlook, although it said confidence had deteriorated from February.

The weakness in manufacturing mirrors other signs of a slowing U.S. economy. Jobs growth nearly stalled in February, and initial jobless claims hit a four-week high last week.

The trade dispute between the U.S. and China has been blamed for slowing the global economy, dampening activity around the world, as factories wait to see if Washington and Beijing can reach an agreement that would avoid a sharp rise in U.S. import tariffs on Chinese goods, and likely retaliatory measures from Beijing.

© Reuters.
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