Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kansas City Fed: Growth in Manufacturing Activity Moderated Slightly in March

by Bill McBride on 3/29/2012 11:00:00 AM

From the Kansas City Fed: Growth in Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Moderated Slightly but Remained Solid Overall

Growth in Tenth District manufacturing activity moderated slightly but remained generally solid overall, with a continued positive outlook for future months. ... The month-over-month composite index was 9 in March, down from 13 in February but up from 7 in January ...

The production index dropped from 20 to 13, and the order backlog index also fell after rising last month. In contrast, the shipments and new order indexes both increased from 8 to 17, and employment index also edged higher.
The index for number of employees increased from 11 to 12, and the average workweek index increase to +2 from -3 in February.

Here is a graph comparing the regional Fed surveys and the ISM manufacturing index:

Fed Manufacturing Surveys and ISM PMI Click on graph for larger image.

The New York and Philly Fed surveys are averaged together (dashed green, through March), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through March) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through February (right axis).

The ISM index for March will be released Monday April 2nd, and these surveys suggest some increase from the 52.4 reading in February.

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