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NY Fed's manufacturing index rises less than expected as new orders growth slows

Manufacturing activity in the state of New York improved less than expected in December, as business conditions remained subdued for the seventh straight month while new orders grew at a slower pace, according to new survey data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The headline general business conditions index rose to 3.5 this month from 2.9 in November, missing

" data-original-title="">the consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday for a reading of 4.0. The New York Fed said 28% of respondents reported better business conditions while 25% said conditions had deteriorated.

The indicator for new orders fell month over month to 2.6 from 5.5, while the index for shipments rose to 11.9 from 8.8 in November.

The index for unfilled orders dropped to negative 13.8 from negative 8.2, while the measure for delivery time fell to negative 5.8 from negative 5.5. The inventories index climbed to 2.2 from negative 6.2.

Employment grew for the fourth month in a row as the index for number of employees remained steady at 10.4. Meanwhile, input price inflation continued to decelerate as the index for prices paid by businesses fell to a 15.2 from 20.5.

Manufacturers' business confidence for future conditions improved for a second consecutive month in December. The index assessing companies' outlook over the next six months jumped to 29.8 from 19.4 in November, with the forward-looking indicator for new orders rising to 35.6 from 24.2.

In addition, the capital expenditures index increased to 26.1 from 19.2 and the measure for technology spending surged to 27.5 from 15.1.