The Federal Reserve Bank of NY’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates the sector contracted in March for the first time since June 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic. The index fell 14.9 points to -11.8 in March led by a drop in New Orders ( down 12.6 to -11.1) and Shipments (down 10.3 to -7.4), note a reading above 0.0 is indicative of expansion. According to the survey, 35% of respondents reported that conditions worsened in the last month versus 24% who saw improvement. However, NY manufacturers remained optimistic about the near term as the six-month outlook improved to 36.6, up +8.4 from last month. See the full report here.