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New York manufacturing index falls to negative

Staff writer |
An index of manufacturing conditions in the New York area turned negative in Novembe for the first time since May, according to data released by the New York Fed.

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The Empire State index fell to negative 2.2 from positive 1.5 in October. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a positive 5.5 reading. The so-called internals were disappointing as well: the new-orders component fell to negative 5.5 from positive 7.8, and the shipments component fell to -0.5 from positive 13.

New York index is the first of several regional manufacturing gauges to be released. They can frequently be volatile from month to month, but taken together they present one of the timeliest reads on a critically cyclical sector. Also on the manufacturing front, the Federal Reserve said industrial production slipped 0.1% in October on a drop in utilities and mining output.

The 1.6% drop in mining output came after six months of gains, and output there is up 4.8% from the same period of 2012. Manufacturing output edged up 0.3%, the third straight rise, and was up 3.3% from a year ago. Utilities output fell 1.1% but is up 0.2% from a year ago.

Capacity utilization slipped to 78.1% from 78.3% in September and below the 78.2% seen in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll.