Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kansas City Fed: Regional Manufacturing increased in March

by Calculated Risk on 3/27/2014 11:00:00 AM

From the Kansas City Fed: Growth in Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Increased

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the March Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that growth in Tenth District manufacturing activity increased, and producers’ expectations were mostly stable at solid levels.

We saw acceleration in regional factory activity in March, to the fastest pace in over two years”, said Wilkerson. “However, several respondents noted the stronger growth was in part making up for weather-related softness in previous months.”

The month-over-month composite index was 10 in March, up from 4 in February and 5 in January. The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. Manufacturing activity increased at both durable and non-durable goods-producing plants, particularly for plastic and machinery products. Other month-over-month indexes also improved. The production index jumped from 3 to 22, its highest level in 3 years, and the shipments and new orders indexes also climbed higher. The order backlog index edged up from -4 to -1, and the new orders for exports index also increased slightly. The employment index moderated from 3 to 0, and both inventory indexes eased somewhat.
emphasis added
The last regional Fed manufacturing survey for March will be released on Monday, March 31st (Dallas Fed). In general - with the exception of the Richmond survey - the regional surveys have been positive in March and suggest improvement in the ISM manufacturing index.