The general business index, which was negative in April and May, was little changed in August, but showed gains, as the index came it at a positive 8.2, slightly under July's reading of 9.5.
The index for new orders remained positive, but also back-peddled, dropping 4 points to 0.3. The shipments index also fell, but stayed positive, dropping 7 points to 1.5.
A point is calculated by finding the net number of businesses that report an increase or a decrease in each category.
The Fed said labor conditions showed gains with the index measuring the number of employees rising from 2.8 to 10.8. The index covering the average number of hours worked rose, as well, adding 12 points to 4.8.
Both employment indexes are at a 12-month peak, the Fed said.
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