The bank's broadest business measurement, the diffusion index of current activity, rose from minus 7.7 to 3.2. The new orders index also rose, jumping 8 points to land on zero, which shows demand for manufactured goods was flat in the month.
"Firms indicated that employment grew modestly while the average workweek lessened," the regional Fed said in a statement.
The Fed said "regional manufacturing activity remained weak" in the month.
The bank's monthly survey of businesses taken in the first half of the month showed indicators for future expectations rose sharply, gaining 21 points, but remained below the average reading in the first three months of the year.
The median forecast called for "a meager 0.5 percent increase in production" for the third quarter, the Fed said.
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