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Empire State factory index rises to 11.9 in Jan.

Empire State factory index rises to 11.9 in Jan. (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Conditions for manufacturing in the New York region improved slightly in January from December, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said Tuesday. The bank's Empire State Manufacturing index rose to 11.9 in January from a revised 9.9 in December. Economists had forecast the index would rise to 13. Indexes for new orders, shipments and employment improved in January. Both the prices-paid and the prices-received indexes jumped in January. After a sharp decline in December, the index for inventories rose above zero. A gauge of future activity jumped to its highest level since early last year, suggesting that manufacturers expect conditions to improve over the next six months.