The New York Federal Reserve released its survey on Wednesday. The NY Fed Empire State manufacturing index declined to -1.19 in April from 6.90 in March, missing expectations for a rise to 7.0. It was the first negative reading since December 2014.
The decline was driven by a drop in new orders. The new orders index plunged to -6.0 in April from -2.39 in March.
"Many of the indexes assessing the six-month outlook conveyed more optimism about future business activity than they had in February and March," the report said.
The price-paid index increased to 19.15 in April from 12.37 in March.
The index for the number of employees decreased to 9.57 in April from 18.56 last month.
The general business conditions expectations index for the next six months climbed to 37.06 in April from 30.72 in March.