Thursday, February 27, 2020

Kansas City Fed: "Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Increased Modestly" in February

by Calculated Risk on 2/27/2020 11:00:00 AM

From the Kansas City Fed: Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Increased Modestly

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the February 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 increased modestly, reaching positive territory for the first time in eight months.

“Regional factory activity finally expanded again in February,” said Wilkerson. “This was despite over 40 percent of firms reporting some negative effect from the spread of coronavirus so far in 2020.
The month-over-month composite index was 5 in February, higher than -1 in January and -5 in December. The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. The increase in district manufacturing activity was driven by both durable and non-durable goods plants, particularly food and transportation equipment producers. Most month-over-month indexes moved into positive territory in February, with many reaching their highest levels in over a year. However, the order backlog and employment indexes continued to fall. Year-over-year factory indexes rebounded strongly, with the composite index jumping from -7 to 5. The future composite index remained solid, inching slightly higher from 14 to 16.
emphasis added
This was the last of the regional Fed surveys for 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 (yellow, through February), and five Fed surveys are averaged (blue, through February) including New York, Philly, Richmond, Dallas and Kansas City. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) PMI (red) is through January (right axis).

Based on these regional surveys, it seems likely the ISM manufacturing index will increase further in February.