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Business conditions improve slightly

General business conditions in the Rochester area improved slightly in April, primarily in the manufacturing sector, a monthly survey by the National Association of Purchasing Management–Rochester Inc. shows.
One-quarter of area businesses and individuals reported improved business conditions in April, up from 20 percent in March. Some 67 percent reported no change in business conditions, down from 73 percent last month. Eight percent reported worse conditions, compared with 7 percent last month.
One-quarter of respondents reported more new orders or services this month, down from one-third in March. Some 67 percent of businesses reported no change in new orders, compared with 54 percent last month. Eight percent reported fewer new orders or services in April, down from 13 percent in March.
Commodity prices went up in April. For the sixth consecutive month, no area businesses reported lower prices, while 92 percent reported higher prices, up from 80 percent in March. Eight percent reported no change, down from 20 percent in March.
Employment was down slightly in April. Some 8 percent of area businesses reported more jobs this month, down from 20 percent in March. Three-quarters of respondents reported no change in employment in April, up from 67 percent last month. Another 17 percent reported fewer jobs, up from 13 percent last month.
The three-month forecast was down in April. One-quarter of area business and individuals expect an improvement in business conditions in the coming three months, down from one-third in March. Some 67 percent forecast stable conditions, up from 54 percent last month. Eight percent of businesses expect conditions to decline, down from 13 percent in March, NAPM-Rochester reported.

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