The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Friday that its Empire State manufacturing index dipped to 24.4 in September, a level that still points to a brisk pace of growth for factories. The August reading of 25.2 had been the highest since September 2014.
New orders, shipments and hiring all increased this month. Manufacturers were also investing more in their plants and were confident that business would keep improving over the next six months.
The index measures sentiment among firms in New York State. It is closely followed by economists because it provides an early read on factory output nationwide. Manufacturing has enjoyed a period of steady growth after slumping for parts of 2015 and 2016.
Manufacturers have steadily hired this summer. They added 36,000 factory jobs in August, 26,000 in July and 21,000 in June.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.