More weakness ahead as factory index hits record low


More unpleasant news on the manufacturing front: conditions for New York manufacturers deteriorated in March at the fastest pace on record, with nearly every aspect of the sector showing weakness -- a sign that the sector is undergoing a pronounced contraction.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey is widely seen as an early indicator of the Institute for Supply Management's March national factory survey. The New York index declined to -38.2 in March from -34.7 in February, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced Monday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the index to rise to -32.0.