Manufacturing activity expanded for the third consecutive month in April although the pace slowed, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday. The bank\'s monthly business index dropped six points to 3.1, but remained positive, which means business activity continued to grow, the Fed said. The new-orders index, also slipped, but remained positive, dropping six points to 2.2. The shipments index fell, but held onto a positive reading at 0.8. For the fifth consecutive month, the index measuring the number of employees rose, adding four points to 6.8. The index measuring the number of hours worked also rose, adding six points to 5.7, the report said.