Factory activity in New York state picks up slightly in July though remains at low level

Associated Press

Manufacturing activity in New York state picked up slightly in July, though remained at a low level, suggesting that factory output remains subdued.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index rose to plus 3.9, from negative 2 in June. Any reading above zero indicates expansion.

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The index has fluctuated around zero for the past four months as manufacturing generally has struggled with a strong U.S. dollar, weak growth overseas, and lower oil prices.

A measure of new orders slipped to minus 3.5, a sign that output may slow in the coming months. A gauge of hiring showed that factories are adding workers, but at a slower pace than in June.