NEW YORK, May 16 (UPI) -- The New York Federal Reserve said general business conditions improved in the Empire State in May, but at a slower pace than April.
It was the sixth consecutive month the New York Fed's general business conditions index showed growth although the headline index lost 10 points to 11.9.
Numbers above zero indicate growth.
In the manufacturing index for New York, based on a survey taken the first two weeks of each month, new orders fell five points to 17.2. The shipments index lost three points to 25.8.
Indexes for employment held up in May. The number of employees index rose from 23.1 to 24.7 and the index for average hours worked jumped 10.2 to 23.6.
The prices paid index rose from 57.7 to 69.9 while the prices received index rose from 26.9 to 27.9.
Despite slower improvements, the Fed said respondents to a survey indicated increased optimism for the future.
The future general conditions index, which covers expectations six months in the future, rose five points to 52.7, the New York Fed said.