KC Federal Reserve Says Manufacturing Acivity Cooled This Month

Another regional manufacturing survey, another mixed reading on U.S. manufacturing.

Another regional manufacturing survey, another mixed reading on U.S. manufacturing.

The Federal Reserve of Kansas City said Thursday that the percentage of firms reporting month-over-month increases in production in January came in at 5, down from 7 in December and 8 in November. Production cooled at both durable- and nondurable-goods-producing plants.

The year-over-year production index also decreased, from 25 to 19, a three-year low, and the future production index eased slightly after a rebound last month.

The bank said the majority of other month-over-month indexes edged down: new orders declined to 9 from 13, and new orders for exports and employment indexes also slowed.

Meanwhile, the shipments index rebounded to 16 from 8, its highest level since June, and the supplier delivery time index increased after a two-month decline. The materials inventory index increased, while the finished goods inventory index declined to its lowest level in over a year.

The Kansas City Fed said the future shipments and order backlog indexes both decreased after a rebound last month, and the capital expenditures index eased as well.

Finally, the price indexes in the survey all increased from last month, but still remain lower than previous levels over the past few years. The month-over-month raw materials price index rose to 35 from 30, and the finished goods index edged up after reaching a two-year low in December. The raw materials price index climbed to 50 from 31 after six straight months of decline. Some of the increase in price indexes was driven by rising food prices, the bank said.

The Kansas City Fed district encompasses Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico, and western Missouri.

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