The New York Federal Reserve said general business conditions rose in January in the Empire State. The New York Fed\'s index for general business conditions climbed five points to 13.5 with the critical new orders index rising eight points to 13.7. In the survey taken in the first half of each month, numbers below zero indicate a contraction in business activity. Numbers above zero indicate growth. In the January survey for New York, the shipments index rose from 20 to 21.6. The index measuring the number of employees rose from 2.3 to 12, while the index measuring hours worked rose from negative 2.3 to 6.6. Optimism among manufacturers improved. The six-month outlook index rose nine points to 54.9. The future business index is up nearly 40 points since October, the Fed said.