Business activity showed modest growth in December, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s latest manufacturing survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed eight points to 9.0. The new orders index rose to 11.4, while the shipments index remained at 8.5. Labor market conditions remained weak, with manufacturers reporting declines in employment and hours worked. Inventories continued to fall, and delivery times shortened. The prices paid index rose seven points, pointing to a pickup in input price increases, while the prices received index showed only a slight increase in selling prices. Indexes for the six-month outlook conveyed a high degree of optimism about future conditions, the highest level in nearly five years to be specific.