Thursday, March 28, 2019

Kansas City Fed: "Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Accelerated Moderately"

by Calculated Risk on 3/28/2019 11:00:00 AM

From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Accelerated Moderately

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 Tenth District manufacturing activity accelerated moderately, and expectations for future activity also increased.

“Factories in the region reported an uptick in growth in March, following three straight months in which the pace of growth slowed,” said Wilkerson. “Plans for both hiring and capital spending picked up.”
...
The month-over-month composite index was 10 in March, up from 1 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. Factories expanded production of both durable and nondurable goods, particularly food and beverage products, as well as wood, paper, and printing manufacturing. Most month-over-month indexes increased in March, with production, shipments, new orders, order backlog, new orders for exports, and materials inventories rebounding back into positive territory. Most year-over-year factory indexes grew in March, and the composite index rose from 23 to 27. The future composite index also climbed up from 13 to 22, as future factory activity expectations increased across the board.
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for March.

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 (yellow, 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).

Based on these regional surveys, it seems likely the ISM manufacturing index will be at about the same level in March as in February, maybe slightly higher. The early consensus forecast is for a reading of 54.5, up slightly from 54.2 in February (to be released on Monday, April 1st).