Manufacturing In New York Area Shrinks For A Fifth Straight Month In December – Global Slowdown, Not Sandy Key Factor

Manufacturing activity in New York contracted for the fifth month in a row in December, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The decline, however, could not be attributed to superstorm Sandy as New York manufacturers said the storm’s effect on business has mostly dissipated.

The monthly report of manufacturing activity compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said the general business conditions index was still negative — indicating a contraction in manufacturing — and fell about three points to negative 8.1 this month.

The continued decline is a result of the global economic slowdown, as Europe and Japan enter recessions and Chinese commerce stagnates, said Pearl Kamer, chief economist of the Long Island Association.

Although some manufacturers — mainly in the downstate area — said the effects of Sandy brought down revenue in October and November, the storm was no longer expected to be a factor in December business.

The new orders index fell seven points to negative 3.7, after rising above zero last month for the first time since June. The negative reading points to a decrease in demand.