Empire State index shows faster growth in March (by Greg Robb)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Manufacturing activity grew in the New York region in March at a faster pace than in February, according to the Empire State manufacturing survey released Tuesday by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The Empire state index rose to 17.5 in March from 15.4 in February. This is the fourth straight increase and the highest level of the index since last June. The gain was a bit less than expected. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected the index to rise to 18.3 in March. The new orders index fell to 5.8 in March from 11.8 in February, while the shipments index fell to 1.6 from 11.3. The two employment indexes were stronger and unfilled orders rose above zero for the first time in a year. The prices paid index rose to 53.3, and has risen a cumulative 31 points over the past four months.