(RTTNews) - Growth in New York manufacturing activity slowed by more than expected in the month of October, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed in a report on Thursday.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index slid to 10.5 in October from 17.0 in September.
While a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity, economists had expected the index to show a much more modest drop to 15.0.
The bigger than expected decrease by the headline index came even though the new orders index climbed to 12.3 in October from 7.1 in September and the shipments index rose to 17.8 from 14.1.
The number of employees index also increased to 7.2 in October from 2.6 in September, indicating an acceleration in the pace of job growth.
The report also said the prices paid index crept up to 27.8 in October from 25.2 in September, while the prices edged down to 5.3 from 6.5.
"The October Empire State Manufacturing Survey signals continued, albeit softer, expansion supported by rising shipments and a gain in new orders, although employers are still hiring cautiously," said Oren Klachkin, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
Looking ahead, the New York Fed said firms remained optimistic conditions would improve over the next six months, although optimism was somewhat lower than last month.
The index for future business conditions fell to 32.8 in October from 40.3 in September.