The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released the results from its August survey of New York’s manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index fell five points to -4.2, indicating business activity decreased for the second consecutive month. The new orders index remained near zero, a sign that orders were largely unchanged, while the shipments index climbed eight points to 9.0, signifying that shipments rose. Labor indicators suggest that there was little change in employment levels and hours worked. The prices paid index edged down to 15.5, reflecting the fact that input price increases remained moderate. Meanwhile, at 2.1 the prices received index indicated a small increase in selling prices. The survey also suggests that firms expect conditions to improve over the next six months, although the level of optimism reported diminished for the second month in a row.