Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's region "activity eased further in November, while producers' expectations were unchanged from last month at modestly positive levels," according to the bank's monthly manufacturing survey, released Thursday.

"We saw a decline in regional factory activity for the second straight month, and firms have put hiring plans on hold for the next six months," said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "However, overall production and capital spending are expected to rise moderately in coming months."

The composite index decreased to negative 6 in November from negative 4 in October, while the production index remained negative 6, volume of shipments climbed to negative 3 from negative 6, and the volume of new orders index declined to negative 14 from negative 11, and the backlog of orders index declined to negative 25 from negative 15. The new orders for exports index narrowed to negative 6 from negative 7, and the supplier delivery time index slid to negative 2 from positive 3.

The number of employees index bounced to zero from negative 6, while the average employee workweek index narrowed to negative 6 from negative 11. The prices received for finished product index slid to 3 from 8, while the prices paid for raw materials index decreased to 23 from 27.

As for the inventories indexes, materials slumped to negative 7 from positive 2, while the finished goods grew to 9 from 3.

In comparison to the same month a year ago, the composite index dipped to 9 from 11, the production index sank to 4 from 17. The shipments index fell to 11 from 22, while the volume of new orders slid to 4 from 10, and the backlog of orders index reversed to negative 7 from positive 1. The new orders for exports index widened to negative 5 from negative 2, and the supplier delivery time index decreased to 7 from 10.

The number of employees index jumped to 22 from 12, while the average employee workweek index fell to negative 8 from negative 2. The prices received for finished product index slid to 28 from 30 and the prices paid for raw materials dipped to 58 from 60. The capital expenditures index crept to 19 from 18.

As for the inventories indexes, materials climbed to 8 from 5, while the finished goods index inched up to 11 from 10.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index remained 3, and the production index stayed at 9. The shipments held at 10, while new orders grew to 9 from 8, and the backlog of orders index rose to positive 4 from negative 2. The new orders for exports index slid to negative 2 from negative 1, and the supplier delivery time index decreased to negative 5 from positive 1.

The number of employees index fell to zero from 4, while the average employee workweek index slipped to negative 8 from negative 3. The prices received for finished product index dropped to 19 from 23, and the prices paid for raw materials fell to 41 from 53. The capital expenditures index was at 8, down from 16 the prior month.

As for the inventories indexes, materials rose to positive 2 from negative 5, while the finished goods index rebounded to zero from negative 8.

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

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