ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State manufacturing activity plummeted in August, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Empire State Manufacturing survey report shows that general business conditions declined 42.4 points to end up at -31.3.

Each month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases its report on current manufacturing conditions. The last time manufacturing activity was this low was April 2020 at -78.20, right after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Manufacturing also declined to around -32 in 2009 during the recession.

For the Empire State Manufacturing survey report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York surveyed about 200 manufacturing executives in a variety of industries in New York, typically the president or CEO. About 100 responses were received.

Current conditions

General business conditions represent the overall status of the manufacturing industry. However, respondents are asked about a series of categories where they can indicate whether activity increased, decreased, or stayed the same.

CategoryJuly indexAugust indexChange
New Orders6.2-29.6-35.8
Shipments25.3-24.1-49.4
Unfilled Orders-5.2-12.7-7.5
Delivery Time8.7-0.9-9.6
Inventories14.86.4-8.4
Prices Paid64.355.5-8.8
Prices Received31.332.71.4
Number of Employees187.4-10.6
Average Employee Workweek4.3-13.1-17.4

Future conditions

Respondents are also asked about how they think these conditions will be in the future, specifically looking ahead six months. “The index for future business conditions came in at 2.1, suggesting that firms were not optimistic about the six-month outlook,” said the report.

CategoryJuly indexAugust indexChange
General Business Conditions-6.22.18.3
New Orders01414
Shipments7.218.711.5
Unfilled Orders-22.6-4.518.1
Delivery Time-9.6-12.7-3.1
Inventories-1.7-6.4-4.7
Prices Paid43.549.15.6
Prices Received28.743.614.9
Number of Employees22.5307.5
Average Employee Workweek-9.6-10.9-1.3
Capital Expenditures16.512.7-3.8
Technology Spending12.210-2.2

To see the full report, you can visit the Federal Reserve Bank of New York website.