The index slipped 8 points from January with the new orders index sliding close to zero, "indicating that orders were flat," the Fed said Tuesday.
Business leaders responding to the monthly survey continued to indicate optimism about business conditions six months ahead.
The index for general business conditions in six months rose to 39 while the index for new orders six months from now added 6 points to reach 45.3.
Respondents indicated optimism about hiring with the employment expectations index at 25.
Positive numbers in the indexes indicate growth.
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