New York Manufacturing on the Rise

Washington — Manufacturers in New York grew at a faster pace in November and their expectations for future growth rose to the highest level in nearly three years.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday that its Empire State Manufacturing index rose to 10.2 in November from 6.2 the previous month. It reached a five-year high of 27.5 in September. Any figure above zero indicates growth.

The report suggests the state's manufacturers should continue to grow in the coming months. A measure of new orders increased to 9.1 after slipping into negative territory in October. That indicates production should rise. A gauge of shipments also increased. A measure of job gains, however, slipped.

Looking ahead, an index measuring expectations for business conditions in six months rose to its highest level since January 2012. That increase "conveyed considerable optimism about future business activity," the New York Fed said.

The New York Fed's Empire State survey provides an early look at U.S. manufacturing each month. The New York Fed surveys 200 businesses in the state and typically receives responses from 100.

The data adds to other recent reports that point to steady, if modest, economic growth. Americans spent more at retail stores in October, according to a government report Friday, a sign that consumer spending could lift the economy in the October-December quarter.

Nationwide, manufacturing picked up in October, as factories received more orders and boosted output, according to the Institute for Supply Management, a trade association of purchasing managers. Its index of manufacturing activity last month matched a three-year high reached in August.

Hiring has also been solid: U.S. employers have added an average of 229,000 jobs a month this year, putting 2014 on track to be the healthiest year of job gains since 1999.