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Economy in Brief

Kansas City Federal Reserve Factory Index Suggests Moderate Growth
by Tom Moeller  May 25, 2017

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported that its index of regional manufacturing sector business activity stood at eight in May, following an unrevised decline to seven in April. It remained down sharply from the March reading of 20. Movement amongst the index components was mixed. New orders, employment, supplier delivery times and the workweek each moved slightly higher. These gains were offset by lower readings for shipments and production.

The index of finished goods prices also improved modestly, but has trended sideways this year. The raw materials prices index declined, however, to the lowest level in six months.

The overall expectations index recovered most of its April decline. Expected shipments, orders, delivery times and production rose sharply. Export orders, the employee workweek and capital expenditures also increased. Employment expectations declined, however, to the lowest level since December.

Expectations for finished goods prices also declined to the lowest point in three months and expected raw material prices declined to the lowest level since December.

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) May Apr Mar May '16 2016 2015 2014
Conditions Versus One Month Ago (% Balance) 8 7 20 -4 -2 -6 6
   New Orders Volume 9 8 32 -1 -1 -8 7
   Number of Employees 11 9 13 -10 -6 -10 5
   Production -1 12 37 -7 1 -5 7
   Prices Received for Finished Product 8 5 9 -8 -7 -5 5
Expected Conditions in Six Months 30 17 32 5 9 4 17
   New Orders Volume 46 15 43 16 19 11 26
   Number of Employees 24 26 43 -3 8 6 18
   Production 50 28 51 17 20 11 28
   Prices Received for Finished Product 23 24 27 -1 6 9 26
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