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KC Fed: Manufacturing in region stays flat

Derek Draplin

(The Center Square) – Manufacturing stayed flat in December in some Great Plains and Mountain states, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City survey.

“Regional factory activity stayed steady in December, and expectations for future activity rebounded,” Chad Wilkerson, the bank’s senior vice president, said in a statement. “Accordingly, firms increased their number of employees this month, with further increases expected.”

The bank’s survey covers the Tenth Federal Reserve District, which consists of Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming, western Missouri, and northern New Mexico. 

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The bank’s composite index – which averages production, new orders, employment, delivery and raw materials – increased from -2 last month to -1 this month. 

“The year-over-year index for factory activity ticked up to -8 from -9,” the bank said, while its composite index for the future went from -1 to 6 this month “as sentiment for production and new orders is higher than earlier this year and employment is anticipated to rise.”

Of the manufacturing firms surveyed, 42 percent said they expect “slightly higher” demand in their products next year, while 22 percent anticipate no change in demand, and 23 percent expect “slightly lower” demand.