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Empire State manufacturing survey at -9.02 vs. 7.25 reading expected

Factory activity in New York shrank in May after expanding for two months, as manufacturers received fewer orders and shipments fell.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index slumped to minus 9 in May, after reaching 9.6 the previous month. Any reading below zero points to contraction.

The figures suggest that factories in the state continue to struggle despite growth in March and April. Factory output nationwide has been sluggish in the past year as a weak global economy has lowered exports and U.S. businesses are spending less on equipment and machinery.

A measure of new orders fell to minus 5.5, from 11.1 the previous month. And a gauge of shipments also slipped into negative territory, falling to minus 1.9 from 10.2.