The Kansas City Federal Reserve said Thursday that manufacturing growth in its district remained sluggish this month, with plant managers expressing less optimism about near-term output than in previous surveys.
That said, factory activity remains well above year-ago levels, and capital spending plans appear to be solid.
The KC Fed said the net percentage of companies posting month-over-month increases in production rose to 9 in October from 6 in September. The bank said modest gains were shown in both durable and nondurable goods producing plants for the month, and said year-over-year production also rose.
The future production index, however, fell to its lowest reading in more than four years.
Meanwhile, materials price pressures continued to ease, but a sizable number of firms planned to continue raising prices for finished goods.
“Although sample sizes make it difficult to draw firm conclusions about individual states, the data available suggest that production remains flat to down slightly in Colorado, western Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming,” the bank said in a statement. “Activity was still better than a year ago in all district states and was expected to expand in all district states over the next six months.”
The Kansas City Federal Reserve District encompasses Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.