Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's region "strengthened further, and expectations for future activity increased" in January, according to the bank's monthly manufacturing survey, released Thursday.

"We saw faster growth this month despite some firms noting negative effects from extremely cold weather, and several price indexes rose considerably," said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

The composite index gained to 16 in January from 13 in December, while the production index remained at 16, volume of shipments rose to 14 from 10, the volume of new orders index climbed to 14 from 11, and the backlog of orders index soared to 20 from 8. The new orders for exports index rose to 6 from 4 and the supplier delivery time index grew to 18 from 13.

The number of employees index gained to 18 from 16, while the average employee workweek index fell to 2 from 10. The prices received for finished product index climbed to 21 from 11, while the prices paid for raw materials index surged to 34 from 15.

As for the inventories indexes, materials increased to 15 from 7, while the finished goods reversed to positive 3 from negative 8.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index rose to 29 from 23, and the production index grew to 37 from 29. The shipments gained to 32 from 28, while new orders increased to 36 from 24, and the backlog of orders index jumped to 30 from 13. The new orders for exports index rose to 19 from 9, and the supplier delivery time index climbed to 25 from 18.

The number of employees index was at 33, off from 36 last month, while the average employee workweek index soared to 23 from 10. The prices received for finished product index gained to 44 from 31, and the prices paid for raw materials increased to 58 from 49. The capital expenditures index was at 38, after a 22 reading the prior month.

As for the inventories indexes, materials rose to 15 from 7, while the finished goods index increased to 19 from 12.

The Tenth Federal Reserve District includes Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.