Manufacturing in New York state expands slightly in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing activity in New York state picked up slightly in July, though remained at a low level, suggesting that factory output remains subdued.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index rose to plus 3.9, from negative 2 in June. Any reading above zero indicates expansion.

The index has fluctuated around zero for the past four months as manufacturing generally has struggled with a strong U.S. dollar, weak growth overseas, and lower oil prices.

A measure of new orders slipped to minus 3.5, a sign that output may slow in the coming months. A gauge of hiring showed that factories are adding workers, but at a slower pace than in June.