The Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed the third straight month of expanded manufacturing activity expanded in New York State, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Tuesday as the general business conditions index improved to 19.53 in February from 13.48 in January.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index would rise to 15.00.

The new orders index slid to 9.73 from 13.70, while the shipments index rose to 22.79 from 21.69, and unfilled orders dipped to negative 7.06 from negative 5.49, the Fed said.

The delivery time index grew to positive 1.18 from negative 3.30, while the inventories index reversed to negative 4.71 from positive 6.59 in the previous survey. The prices paid index slid to 25.88 from 26.37, while the prices received index fell to 15.29 from 23.08. The number of employees index dropped to 11.76 from 12.09, while the average employee workweek index grew to 7.06 from 6.59, the Fed reported.

Looking six months into the future, the general business conditions index decreased to 50.38 from 54.87 last month. The new orders index slid to 44.71 from 53.85, while the shipments index fell to 49.41 from 52.75, and unfilled orders slipped to 4.71 from 5.49, the Fed said. The delivery time index declined to 2.35 from 6.59, while the inventories index slipped to 10.59 from 10.99.

The prices paid index increased to 62.35 from 53.85, while the prices received index grew to 34.12 from 30.77. The number of employees index gained to 29.41 from 28.57, while the average employee workweek index rose to 18.82 from 17.58, the Fed reported. The capital expenditures expectations index gained to 31.76 from 25.27. The technology spending index fell to 18.82 from 19.78.

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