Business activity increased in New York State for the first time in several months, according to firms responding to the July 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index rose to 17.2, its first positive reading since February. New orders and shipments also increased, and unfilled orders were steady.
The index for number of employees edged up to 0.4, signaling that employment levels were steady. Notably, 22 percent of firms said that employment levels increased in July, the same proportion that reported a decrease. The average workweek index increased nine points to -2.6, pointing to a small decline in hours worked.
This was above expectations, and showed activity increased from a low level in July.