The business index for the month "edged down," the Fed said, dropping from 22.3 to 19.8, which keeps the figure positive, an indication that businesses are expanding.
In the October survey, 36 percent of respondents indicated their business was growing, while 16 percent indicated their business was shrinking, the Fed said.
The new orders index rose sharply, climbing from 6 points to 27.5, its highest reading since March 2011. Shipments "continued to expand," the Fed said, the index for shipping falling, however, from 21.4 to 20.4 following a 22-point climb in September.
The current employment index reached its highest level since March 2011, climbing 5 points to 15.4. In the survey, 23 percent of respondents indicated they were hiring, while 8 percent indicated they were letting workers go, the Fed said.