The Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed manufacturing activity has expanded in the region, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Thursday as the general business conditions index improved to 20.21 in March from 19.53 in February.

Economists had expected a slide to 17.85. The new orders index slid to 6.84 from 9.73, while the shipments index fell to 18.21 from 22.79, the Fed said.

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