By Maria Martinez


Business activity in the New York Metropolitan area crossed the breakeven point in July for the first time since February, surging to a 15-month high, data from a survey taken by the New York chapter of the Institute for Supply Management showed Tuesday.

The ISM-New York Report on Business current business conditions improved significantly to 53.5 in July, up 14 points from 39.5 in June, crossing the 50-mark that separates economic expansion from contraction.

The index rose for the third month in a row in July and has gradually recovered from April's 4.3 historic low, registered amid a strict lockdown that put the region's economy into a halt. In February, before the pandemic hit the region hard, the index stood at 51.9.

While current business conditions rose notably, the six-month outlook index lost the gains reported in June. Seen as a reliable short-run guide for current business conditions over time, the six-month outlook index fell to 49.6 in July, down from the 10-month high of 67.1 reported in June.

Company-specific indexes improved, with the exception of the quantity of purchases index, which fell to 42.0 in July from the seven-month high of 44.7 reported in June.

The employment index rose 16.8 points in July to reach a six-month high of 50.3 and prices paid rose to a six-month high of 64.0.

Top line and forward revenue guidance both increased in July but failed to reach the breakeven point, the report said. Current revenue rose to a five-month high of 43.8 in July, up for the third straight month. Expected revenue rose from 32.4 in June to 39.6 in July, marking the second consecutive month of increases and a five-month high.


Write to Maria Martinez at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 04, 2020 09:59 ET (13:59 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.