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NY manufacturing activity continues to weaken

Manufacturing activity in New York State fell for the second month in a row, according the Empire Manufacturing Survey -- a monthly report of manufacturing activity released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The general business conditions index fell to minus 10.4 this month, the lowest it has been since November 2010. A negative reading indicates that manufacturing has slowed. Last month, business conditions index was minus 5.9 -- the first time it went below zero in nearly a year.

The new orders index also fell to its lowest reading since 2010 -- decreasing nine points to minus 14.0. And in a negative sign for jobs, the index for number of employees fell 12 points to 4.3 in the survey, indicating that hiring had slowed down.

On a more hopeful note, the manufacturing survey reported that indexes for the six-month outlook among New York State manufacturers had increased -- a sign that optimism is up.

Earlier this month, the Institute for Supply Management reported that its monthly manufacturing index for the U.S. was 49.6. It was the third month in a row that the index was below 50, which indicates a contraction in manufacturing activity.

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