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The New York Federal Reserve released its survey on Thursday. The NY Fed Empire State manufacturing index climbed to 9.5 in January from -1.23 in December, exceeding expectations for a rise to 5.3. December's figure was revised up from -3.6.
The decline was driven by a fall in orders and shipments.
The new orders index climbed to 6.09 in January from a revised reading of 0.39 in December.
The index for the number of employees increased to 13.68 in January from 8.33 last month.
"Indexes for the six-month outlook pointed to widespread optimism about future conditions", the report said.
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