NEW YORK, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Manufacturing activity in the New York region continued to expand in April, though at a somewhat slower pace than in March, said a survey released Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
According to the latest Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the headline general business conditions index dropped seven points to 15.8 and remained firmly in positive territory.
The new orders index also suggested a somewhat slower pace of growth, tumbling eight points to 9.0, and the shipments index fell 10 points to 17.5.
About 38 percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 22 percent reported that conditions had worsened.
Labor market conditions were overall positive, with the index for number of employees declining three points to 6.0, a level pointing to a modest increase in employment, while the average workweek index climbed 11 points to 16.9, indicating a significant increase in hours worked.
Optimism about the six-month outlook plunged among manufacturing firms. The index for future business conditions slipped 26 points to 18.3, its lowest level in more than two years.
The Empire State manufacturing index closely watches manufacturing activity in New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York conducts the survey monthly and participants represent a variety of industries.