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Growth In New York Manufacturing Activity Shows Modest Acceleration

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Partly reflecting a notably faster rate of growth in new orders, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report on Wednesday showing a modest acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of January.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index edged up to 4.8 in January from a revised 3.3 in December, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity.

Economists had expected the general business conditions index to come in unchanged compared to the 3.5 originally reported for the previous month.

The increase by the headline index came as the new orders index climbed to 6.6 in January from 1.7 in December, indicating a faster rate of growth.

Meanwhile, the report said the shipments index edged down to 8.6 in January from 9.5 in December, pointing to a modest slowdown.

Indicating a slowdown in the pace of job growth, the number of employees index also slipped to 9.0 in January from 10.4 in December.

The New York Fed said price increases picked up noticeably, with the prices paid index spiking to 31.5 in January from 15.2 in December and the prices received index surging up to 14.4 from 4.3.

Looking ahead, the indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggest optimism about future conditions remained restrained, with the index for future business conditions dropping to 23.6 in January from 26.1 in December.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its report on regional manufacturing activity on Thursday. The Philly Fed Index is expected to inch up to 3.9 in January from 2.4 in December.

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