New York manufacturing hits record low reading of -78.2 amid coronavirus collapse


Manufacturing in the New York area fell by its biggest margin ever to a historic low far worse than anything seen during the Great Recession.

The Empire State Manufacturing Index for April hit -78.2, worse even than the -32.5 expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The worst reading the index had seen was -34.3 during the financial crisis.

The index measures companies reporting better vs. worse conditions over the past month. Just 7% reported stronger conditions, while 85% said things had weakened.

As businesses shut down due to coronavirus restrictions, it was no surprise that firms in New York, which has been the epicenter of cases in the U.S., would experience a downturn or near total stoppage. However, the outlook ahead wasn’t much better, with the future expectations index registering a 7% reading.

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