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Economy in Brief

Kansas City Federal Reserve Factory Sector Index Improves
by Tom Moeller  October 23, 2015

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported that regional manufacturing sector business activity remained roughly stable during October. That was improved as the Composite index of 10th District factory sector activity of -1 followed readings as poor as -13 during the prior seven months. Improvement amongst the component series was broad-based, but most notable for orders which were positive for the first time this year. Shipments and employment showed lesser m/m improvement to levels that still were negative. Outside of the component aggregate series, production was positive for the second month since February but exports remained quite weak. Pricing power improved though prices were falling.

The Composite Index reflecting 6-month expectations also improved sharply m/m. It nevertheless remained slightly negative and quite depressed versus last year's highs. Improvement in the components was broad-based but most notable for shipments, then employment and new orders. Expected production and export orders also gained as did pricing for finished products, to the highest level in three months. The reading remained well below, however, the levels during the last several years.

The diffusion indexes are calculated as the percentage of total respondents reporting increases minus the percentage reporting declines. The survey included 94 responses from plants in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming northern New Mexico. Data for the Kansas City Fed Survey can be found in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Kansas City Federal Reserve Manufacturing Survey (SA) Oct Sep Aug Oct '14 2014 2013 2012
Conditions Versus One Month Ago (% Balance) -1 -8 -9 4 6 0 4
   New Orders Volume 7 -8 -9 3 8 1 0
   Number of Employees -3 -7 -10 6 5 -2 5
   Prices Received for Finished Product -3 -7 -10 1 5 4 5
Expected Conditions in Six Months -1 -12 0 17 17 10 12
   New Orders Volume 7 -7 9 26 26 18 21
   Number of Employees 6 -9 1 15 18 9 13
   Prices Received for Finished Product 8 -5 5 21 26 24 24
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