According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the New York manufacturing industry showed positive growth in March. The Empire State Manufacturing Index increased from 4.5 in February to 5.6 in March.

The increase in March is a vast improvement from February, when the index dropped eight points from January. A reading greater than 0 indicates growth in the manufacturing industry.

Several sectors of the New York manufacturing industry increased activity over the past month. The shipments index increased from 2.1 in February to 4 in March. New orders had a large gain from the previous month, as the index for this component increased from negative 0.2 in February to positive 3.1 in March. Manufacturing inventories also climbed from February's negative 5 mark to positive 7.1 for March.

Even though March's reading was a positive increase from the previous month, Pantheon Macroeconomics Chief Economist Ian Shepherdson told MarketWatch the economy has not fully recovered from the harsh winter.

"We're still waiting … for a clear sign that activity in the small firm sector is breaking to the upside," Shepherdson said. "This isn't it."

The Empire State Manufacturing index is one of the first regional manufacturing gauges to be released each month. It gives timely insight into what the U.S. manufacturing industry may do on a month​-to-month basis and whether businesses may need to hire temporary workers.

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