New York’s Federal Reserve announced Monday its barometer of manufacturing business activity in New York State declined sharply in August as it lost nearly all of its record-setting gains it made a month ago. 

The headline general business conditions fell 24.7 points to 18.3 in August, according to the regional Fed bank. Economists had previously anticipated a reading of 30.

The 18.3 marks the lowest reading since March. In July, the index saw an increase of 25.6 to a record of 43.

The new orders index fell in August from 18.4 to 14.8 while shipments witnessed a sharp decline of 39.4 points down to 4.4. The number of employees dropped 7.8 points to 12.8 and the price index increased 6.6 points to an all-time high of 46.

Optimism about the six-month outlook rose 7 points to 46.5. Future Capital spending plans fell 3.3 points to 23. 

Economists were expecting a decline from the previous month but they were not expecting nearly all of the gains to be lost. Manufacturing has continued to slow as bottlenecks have made it difficult to meet demand.

Investors use the data to look at the ISM index, which has declined for the past two months but still remains high at 59.5. The August ISM is not due out until September.

Much of the damage is due to pandemic-stricken supply chains that are expected to ease in the coming months, according to economist Oren Klachkin.