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The New York Federal Reserve released its survey on Tuesday. The NY Fed Empire State manufacturing index rose to -4.59 in December from -10.74 in November, exceeding expectations for an increase to -6.00.
A reading above zero indicates expansion, while a reading below zero indicates contraction.
"The December 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity declined for a fifth consecutive month for New York manufacturers. However, the pace of decline slowed somewhat," the New York Federal Reserve said in its report.
The new orders index increased to -5.07 in December from-11.82 in November, while the shipments index climbed to 5.51 from -4.10.
The general business conditions expectations index for the next six months increased to 38.51 in December from 20.33 in November.
The price-paid index decreased to 4.04 in December from 4.55 in November.
The index for the number of employees dropped to -16.16 in December from -7.27 in November.
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