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New York manufacturing expanded in April

A worker builds a light fixture at the Roll & Hill manufacturing facility in Brooklyn, New York.
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A worker builds a light fixture at the Roll & Hill manufacturing facility in Brooklyn, New York.

Manufacturing activity in New York state unexpectedly surged in April, a New York Federal Reserve survey showed on Friday.

Factory activity in New York expanded in April at the fastest pace in more than a year, a sign manufacturing may be picking up after a tough 2015.

The New York Federal Reserve's Empire State manufacturing index jumped to 9.56 in April from 0.62 in the previous month. It was only the second positive reading since July. Any reading above zero indicates growth.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index to rise to 2.21 in the month. A reading above zero indicates expansion.

A gauge of new orders rose to 11.1 from 9.6 in the previous month, suggesting output may rise again next month. A measure of shipment slipped.

The results suggest that U.S. factories are improving after getting hammered for months by weak overseas growth and a strong dollar.

CNBC contributed to this report.