NY Fed Survey Paints Bleak Picture; Coronavirus Hub Established

Monthly Business Surveys Show Sharp Declines In Business Activity

Keith Griffin

March 31, 2020

NY Federal Reserve

It’s not surprising but business and consumer confidence have reached lows not seen in over a decade in some cases. That’s based on new numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

An announcement from the NY Fed says both of its monthly business surveys showed sharp declines in business activity in New York State. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey’s headline business conditions index fell 34 points to -21.5, reaching its lowest level since 2009. Manufacturing firms in the region reported declines in new orders, shipments, and inventories.

Similarly, the NY Fed says, the Business Leaders Survey’s headline index fell 23 points to -13.1, its lowest reading in more than three years. In both surveys, respondents became pessimistic about the outlook, no longer expecting business conditions to be better over the next six months. In a supplemental survey specifically on the fallout from coronavirus, 48% of manufacturers and 41% of service firms reported the outbreak had at least some adverse effects on the availability of supplies.

The NY Fed has also created a resource hub with curated information for business owners, employees, nonprofit, and community organizations impacted by the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

John C. Williams, president and CEO of the New York Fed, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it extraordinary challenges for households, businesses, and communities across the nation. The New York Fed is committed to helping the most vulnerable access the support they need. We have created this resource center where individuals, businesses, and non-profits can find out what is available to them at the federal, state, and city level.”

The hub is organized by topic and includes links to resources about CRA and regulatory guidance, financial counseling and credit protection, health and safety, housing, state and city-specific resources, federal and national resources, as well as information for nonprofits and community organizations and small businesses.

In addition, the hub provides an opportunity for members of the community and state, local, and national policymakers to submit other resources that could be included to maximize support to the public. The hub will be regularly updated to connect our communities with the necessary resources.

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