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Growth In New York Manufacturing Unexpectedly Accelerates In August

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A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Thursday unexpectedly showed a slight acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of August.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index inched up to 4.8 in August after climbing to 4.3 in July, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to dip to 3.0.

The uptick by the headline index was partly due to a rebound in new orders, as the new orders index surged up to a positive 6.7 in August from a negative 1.5 in July.

The shipments index also rose to 9.3 in August from 7.2 in July, suggesting a moderate acceleration in the pace of shipment growth.

The report said the number of employees index also climbed to a negative 1.6 in August from a negative 9.6 in July, although the reading below zero still points to sluggishness in labor market conditions.

On the inflation front, the prices paid index dipped to 23.2 in August from 25.5 in July, while the pries received index edged down to 4.5 from 5.8.

The New York Fed also said firms were somewhat less optimistic about future conditions than they were last month, with the index for future business conditions falling to 25.7 in August from 30.8 in July.

A separate report from the Philadelphia Fed showed the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity slowed by less than economists had expected.

The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current general activity dropped to 16.8 in August after surging up to 21.8 in July. Economists had expected the index to tumble to 10.0.

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