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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kansas City Fed manufacturing index "eased slightly" in December

by Calculated Risk on 12/29/2011 11:45:00 AM

This is the last of the regional Fed surveys for December. The regional surveys provide a hint about the ISM manufacturing index - and the regional surveys were mixed in December although they showed some improvement in the aggregate.

From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Eased Slightly

According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity eased slightly, but expectations for future months improved somewhat.

“We saw a slight moderation in factory activity in our region in December,” said Wilkerson. “But plant managers continue to expect solid growth in the months ahead and are planning to increase employment and capital spending accordingly.”
The month-over-month composite index was -4 in December, down from 4 in November and 8 in October, and the first negative reading since December 2009 ... Most other month-over-month indexes also fell somewhat in December. The production and shipments indexes moved into negative territory, and the new orders and order backlog indexes fell further. The employment index dropped to its lowest level since mid-2009, and the new orders for exports index edged down.
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 December), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through December) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through November (right axis).

The ISM index for December will be released Tuesday, Jan 3rd and the regional surveys suggest another reading in the low to mid 50s. for December.