Manufacturing output in New York state and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut expanded in September, but at a slower rate than it did in August.
Looking at the bigger picture, though, the September Empire State Manufacturing Survey suggests that conditions for New York manufacturers improved modestly for the fourth straight month.
The general business-conditions index fell by nearly two points to 6.3, but stayed high enough to indicate that the region's manufacturing sector remains in growth mode.
The new-orders index inched up two points to 2.4, while the shipments index jumped nearly 15 points to 16.4 - its highest level in more than a year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The prices-paid index was little changed at 21.5, while the prices-received index climbed another five points to 8.6.
Labor market conditions were mostly steady. The index for number of employees retreated three points to 7.5, and the average-workweek index edged down to a neutral reading of 1.1, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
For the most part, indexes for the six-month outlook conveyed increasingly widespread optimism about future business conditions in the region.
The future-general-business-conditions index rose three points to 40.6, its highest level since spring 2012.
The indexes for expected new orders and expected shipments each rose eight points to about 38; both were up roughly 20 points from June.
In response to a series of supplementary questions, manufacturers reported that their selling prices had risen by a little less than 1 percent, on average, over the past year. They also predicted an increase of 1.5 percent, on average, over the next 12 months.