RTTNews - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its Empire State Index, a closely-watched regional manufacturing survey, improved to negative 4.55 for May, compared to a reading of negative 14.65 in the previous month.

A reading below zero still indicates that New York State's manufacturing activity is shrinking, but the pace of contraction is the slowest since August of last year.

Economists had expected the index to edge up to negative 12.0.

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