NEW YORK, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The Empire State manufacturing index, a key metric to gauge business activity growth in New York State, climbed out of negative territory in July, after declining substantially in the previous month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday.
The general business conditions index returned to positive territory, rising about 13 points to 4.3 in July, according to a monthly survey of manufacturers in New York State.
Thirty percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 26 percent reported that conditions had worsened.
The new orders index rose, but it remained negative at minus 1.5. The shipments index moved slightly lower to 7.2, pointing to a small increase in shipments.
Unfilled orders declined for a second consecutive month, showed the survey.
After falling below zero last month, the index for number of employees slid further, dropping six points to minus 9.6, pointing to a decline in employment levels.
Optimism about the six-month outlook was generally higher than that of last month. The index for future business conditions increased 5 points to 30.8, and the index for future new orders also moved higher.
In its June survey, the general business conditions index fell by a record 26.4 points to minus 8.6, the first negative reading for the index in more than two years.