The general business index, which was negative two months ago, rose two points in July, climbing from 7.5 to 9.5.
The Fed said the new orders index jumped 10 points to 3.8, breaking modestly into expansion territory, while the shipments index rose from minus 12 to 9.0.
The Fed said the two employment indexes were mixed. The index for the number of employees came to 3.3, indicating slight growth, while the index measuring the number of hours worked remained negative at minus 7.6.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]