WASHINGTON – Factory activity in the New York region expanded more slowly in October, a sign that the partial government shutdown may be weighing on the economy.
The New York Federal Reserve's Empire State manufacturing index fell to 1.5 in October from 6.3 in September. Any reading above zero indicates expansion. Despite the decline, manufacturing in the region has grown for five straight months.
A measure of new orders rose, pointing to healthier future growth. And factories continued to add jobs, albeit at a slower pace.
The regional manufacturing report will receive more attention than usual because it's one of the few available measures of the economy during the shutdown, which is now in its third week. Government data, including the monthly employment report and retail sales figures, has been delayed.