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Economy in Brief

Kansas City Federal Reserve Factory Index Stabilizes; Expectations Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  October 27, 2016

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported that regional manufacturing sector business activity was unchanged at 6 during October. That represented improvement, however, versus negative readings registered back to early last year. New orders have significantly strengthened, as have shipments. Employment also has grown along with the length of the employee workweek. Supplier delivery times have shortened. Prices continued to decline, although the rate of decline stabilized. Raw materials prices were unchanged.

Expectations for business conditions in six months improved greatly as a result of higher expected shipments. Growth in expected orders eased, however, following improvement since a year ago. Future employment registered the strongest reading since January of last year, but the expected workweek remained stable. Expected capital expenditures continued to improve as did expected export orders. The future inventories reading jumped. Expectations for prices continued to be positive, although the rate of increase sagged. Expected raw materials prices continued to strengthen.

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 and 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 '15 2015 2014 2013
Conditions Versus One Month Ago (% Balance) 6 6 -4 -3 -5 7 0
   New Orders Volume 14 12 -7 3 -8 7 1
   Number of Employees 7 -3 -10 -5 -10 5 -2
   Prices Received for Finished Product -5 -7 -7 -4 -5 5 4
Expected Conditions in Six Months 18 10 11 0 4 17 10
   New Orders Volume 16 24 23 8 11 26 18
   Number of Employees 21 14 12 6 6 18 9
   Prices Received for Finished Product 8 7 17 10 9 26 24
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