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Manufacturing in New York state expands slightly in July

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 7, 2015, file photo, the Statue of Liberty stands in New York harbor with the New York City skyline in the background. The Federal Reserve of New York releases its July survey of manufacturers on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing activity in New York state picked up slightly in July, though remained at a low level, suggesting that factory output remains subdued.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index rose to plus 3.9, from negative 2 in June. Any reading above zero indicates expansion.

The index has fluctuated around zero for the past four months as manufacturing generally has struggled with a strong U.S. dollar, weak growth overseas, and lower oil prices.

A measure of new orders slipped to minus 3.5, a sign that output may slow in the coming months. A gauge of hiring showed that factories are adding workers, but at a slower pace than in June.

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