Investing.com - The New York Federal Reserve’s index of manufacturing conditions improved at the fastest pace since May 2012 in January, official data showed on Wednesday.
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In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index jumped to 12.51 this month from a reading of 2.22 in December. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 3.75 in January.
On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, below indicates worsening conditions.
The new orders index climbed out of negative territory, rising 13.0 points to 11.0, a two-year high. The indexes for both prices paid and prices received were significantly higher, pointing to an acceleration in the pace of input and selling price increases.
Employment indexes suggested an improvement in labor market conditions. The index for number of employees rose 12.0 points to 12.2, indicating a modest increase in employment levels.
Indexes for the six-month outlook remained fairly optimistic. The index for future general business conditions was little changed at 37.5.
The Empire State index is of interest to traders primarily because it is seen as an early forecast of the national Institute for Supply management factory survey.
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.65% to trade at 1.3589.
Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets remained higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of 0.1% at the open, S&P 500 futures pointed to a rise of 0.15% and Nasdaq 100 futures indicated an increase of 0.3%.