NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Manufacturing activity contracted in New York in December for the fifth consecutive month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey, taken the first half of each month, indicated manufacturing activity shrank at a slightly faster pace than November, but within the range between minus five and minus 10, where it has been throughout the five-month contraction.
The general business conditions index for December fell to 8.1.
The index suggested "only moderate lingering effects from superstorm Sandy," the Fed said. While the index remained negative, business conditions have "changed little since the storm," which made landfall in late October.
The effects of the storm on manufacturing was noticed as "manufacturers in downstate New York generally showed more widespread declines than those from upstate establishments -- suggesting that superstorm Sandy has had some lingering negative impact," the Fed said.
In addition, the Fed said a specific question on the impact of the storm on revenue revealed "virtually no net effect," for October, November and December among upstate manufacturing firms, but a negative impact of roughly 7 percent in October and 5 percent in November for downstate firms. For December, respondents indicated they anticipated "a neutral net effect," on revenue from Hurricane Sandy.
Across the state, the new orders index "dipped below zero but only sightly," while the shipments index remained in positive territory.
Meanwhile, the indexes measuring number of employees and average hours worked in a week both fell in December.