Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity Declined Again in November

The latest Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey composite index declined again in November and the future outlook inched down. The composite index came in at -2, up from -8 in October, while the future outlook dropped to -1.

Here is an excerpt from the latest report:

Factory Activity Continued to Decline

Tenth District manufacturing activity declined again in November, and expectations for future activity ticked down slightly, while price indexes were mixed with a slight increase in raw materials prices but a decline in finished goods prices (Chart 1, Tables 1 & 2). Going forward, firms expect both finished goods and raw materials prices to increase modestly.

The month-over-month composite index was -2 in November, up from -8 in October and basically unchanged from September (Tables 1 & 2). The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. Durable and nondurable goods both ticked up slightly, although the durables index remains in negative territory. Most month-over-month indexes remained negative. The volume of shipments and new orders indexes increased moderately, while supplier delivery time inched downward. However, employment and average employee workweek declined slightly. The year-over-year index for factory activity increased slightly inching higher from -11 to -9. Volume of new orders, shipments, and backlogs indexes all rose, while indexes for supplier delivery time and finished goods inventories declined. The future composite index ticked down to -1 in November, as firms’ expectations for production continues to increase but other indexes softened. [More...]

Background on Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey is a monthly survey of ~300 manufacturing plants that provides information on current manufacturing activity and future expectations in the tenth district (Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico, and western Missouri). The composite manufacturing index is an average of indexes on production, new orders, employment, delivery time, and raw materials inventory. This is a diffusion index, meaning negative readings indicate contraction while positive ones indicate expansion. The survey offers clues on inflationary pressures and the pace of growth in the manufacturing sector for this region of the country and the accumulated results can help trace long-term trends.