NEW YORK - The Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed manufacturing activity “improved modestly” in New York State, although it was weaker than in previous months, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Monday as the general business conditions index declined to 6.56 in April from 20.21 in March.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index would slip to 18.00.

The new orders index slid to 6.48 from 6.84, while the shipments index fell to 6.41 from 18.21, and unfilled orders dropped to negative 7.23 from negative 1.23, the Fed said.

The delivery time index dipped to 4.82 from 7.41, while the inventories index climbed to 1.20 from zero in the prior survey. The prices paid index slid to 45.78 from 50.62, while the prices received index grew to 19.28 from 13.58. The number of employees index increased to 19.28 from 13.58, while the average employee workweek index sank to 6.02 from 18.52, the Fed reported.

Looking six months into the future, the general business conditions index decreased to 43.12 from 47.50 last month. The new orders index rose to 45.78 from 41.98, while the shipments index gained to 44.58 from 43.21, and unfilled orders climbed to 9.64 from 8.64, the Fed said. The delivery time index slipped to 1.20 from 4.94, while the inventories index dipped to 4.82 from 4.94.

The prices paid index decreased to 50.60 from 66.67, while the prices received index dropped to 22.89 from 32.10. The number of employees index fell to 27.71 from 32.10, while the average employee workweek index declined to 10.84 from 20.99, the Fed reported. The capital expenditures expectations index slid to 31.33 from 32.10. The technology spending index decreased to 18.07 from 24.69.

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