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Sept. Empire State index sinks to -8.8

Sept. Empire State index sinks to -8.8 (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The Empire State manufacturing index decreased slightly in September and remained in negative territory for the fourth straight month, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said Thursday. The Empire state index weakened to a negative 8.8 in September from negative 7.7 in August. This is the lowest reading since November 2010. Readings below zero indicate deterioration, with higher numbers of firms reporting that conditions had worsened. The new orders index inched lower to negative 8.0, while the shipments index fell 16 points to -12.9. After dropping sharply during the summer, the index for prices paid increased in September. Employment indexes were below zero. A reading of expected conditions six-months ahead improved a bit to 13.0 in September from a two-year low of 8.7 in August