New York manufacturing growth jumped to a four-year-high for July, according to a new report (link opens as PDF) released Tuesday by the New York Federal Reserve. 

Comprised of surveys from around 100 New York executives, The Empire State Manufacturing Survey attempts to determine whether certain components of manufacturing have experienced growth (positive number), or contraction (negative number). Investors watch New York manufacturing (and other regions) as a possible signal of larger economic upswings or downturns. 

For July, the survey's general business conditions index clocked in at 25.6 points, up significantly from June's already impressive 19.3 reading. Analysts had actually been expecting a downturn, and were pleasantly surprised when their 17.8-point estimate proved far too pessimistic. 

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Source: New York Federal Reserve

Digging deeper, the all-important new orders component maintained its strength, edging up 0.4 points to reach 18.8. Shipments expanded a sizable 9.4 points to 23.6, while employment increased 6.3 points to 17.1.

Tuesday's report isn't picture-perfect, though. Overall numbers helped to hide some underperformers. Unfilled orders declined 5.7 points to -6.8, inventories headed from 9.7 in June to -3.4, and the employee workweek component shrunk 5.4 points to 2.3. 

With today's report showing exceedingly strong but unequally balanced growth, analysts will be keeping a close watch on Thursday's Philadelphia Federal Reserve report, the next regional manufacturing in sight.

Justin Loiseau owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.