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FACTORY SECTOR IN STATE SLIPPING, FED SURVEY FINDS

New York's manufacturing climate dropped sharply in April, according to a monthly survey by the Federal Reserve.

The general business conditions index of the Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell to 3.12 for April, from 20.18 in March.

The figure indicates that manufacturing growth remains in positive territory among the respondent companies, but at its lowest level in two years. The survey conducted by the Buffalo Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York includes responses from about 100 companies.

Factories also indicated a deceleration in hiring and new orders. A negative work-week index signaled a reduction in hours of work.

When asked about their expectations for the future, factories remained optimistic about growth, but not as much so as in March. Over 50 percent expect conditions to improve in the next six months, while 14 percent expect declines.

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