Empire Fed manufacturing spikes to 15-month high

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Business activity in New York grew at a solid pace in April.

The Empire State Manufacturing index jumped to 9.56 during the month, according to the New York Federal Reserve.

That was much better than the reading of 2 that economists had anticipated, and up from 0.62 in March. The March index was the first positive reading since last July.

“The drop in the dollar, the slowing decline in oil sector capex and, perhaps, signs of life in China’s industrial sector, are all helping to turn around U.S. manufacturing,” wrote Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson in a note.

The New York Fed said new orders and shipments increased, while inventories were a bit lower compared to the previous month.

Employment remained steady, and input prices rose rose significantly.

The report also showed that business owners expect conditions to improve in the coming six months.

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