A measure of manufacturing in New York state unexpectedly showed growth in April as new orders and shipments improved. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's general economic index rose to 0.63 from a March reading of minus 22.2 that was the lowest on record, the bank said today. Readings below zero signal contraction. The New York Fed began its Empire index in 2001. The gains signal that the weakness in March's report may have been overstated and that exports may still be helping some companies counter sluggish domestic demand. Even so, a measure of expectations for six months from now fell, indicating that manufacturing may remain a drag on the economy. ``It looks like manufacturing is being supported by still- strong exports,'' said Zach Pandl, an economist at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in New York. ``We still think manufacturing is going to weaken as consumer spending slows.'' Treasuries fell after the report, pushing yields higher. The benchmark 10-year note yielded 3.55 percent as of 8:42 a.m. in New York, up 4 basis points from yesterday. Economists had forecast the New York Fed gauge would rise to minus 17 this month, according to the median of 43 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Projections ranged from minus 4 to minus 25. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aFWe2z8Ya7cs&refer=home Yes, this must be the recssion !