- The New York Federal Reserve’s index of manufacturing conditions improved at a faster rate than expected in June, official data showed on Monday.

In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index increased to 19.28 this month from a reading of 19.01 in May. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 15.0 in June.

On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, below indicates worsening conditions.

The new orders index climbed eight points to 18.4, its highest level in four years, and the shipments index inched down to 14.2.

Labor market conditions continued to improve, with indexes pointing to a modest increase in employment levels and hours worked.

Indexes for the six-month outlook remained highly optimistic, with the future new orders and shipments indexes recording notable gains.

The Empire State index is of interest to traders primarily because it is seen as an early forecast of the national Institute for Supply management factory survey.

Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to losses against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.06% to trade at 1.3533.

Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets remained lower. The Dow futures indicated a loss of 0.3% at the open, the S&P 500 dipped 0.2%, while the Nasdaq 100 indicated a decline of 0.2%.

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