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New York business index improves

Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM

NEW YORK, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Manufacturing activity expanded in New York state in February for the first time in months, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Friday.

The bank's monthly business survey showed improvement "for the first time since the summer of last year," the Fed reported.

The general business conditions index added 18 points to move into positive territory, advancing to 10, the Fed said.

The new orders index added 20 points to reach 13.3 and the shipments index rose to 13.1.

For the third consecutive month, the index measuring the number of employees rose. In February, the index turned positive, climbing above zero to reach 8.1, the first plus reading since September.

The index for hours worked remained negative, slightly, at minus 4.

The survey is taken in the first half of each month.

In February, 29 percent of respondents indicated that business conditions had improved and 19 percent indicated conditions had grown worse.

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