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NY factory activity improves in October, but optimism remains subdued

Manufacturing activity in New York state grew in October as shipments accelerated, though business optimism remained tepid, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

The headline general business conditions index edged up to 4.0 in October from 2.0 in September. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for a reading of 0.8.

The index for new orders remained at 3.5, while that for shipments climbed to 13.0 from 5.8. The indexes for unfilled orders, delivery time and inventories were in contraction territory.

Manufacturers' business confidence remained subdued as the index assessing companies' outlook over the next six months came in at 17.1, up 3.4 points from the prior month but still below the levels seen in previous years.