Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's region "continued to grow, and producers' expectations for future activity improved moderately," according to the bank's monthly manufacturing survey, released Friday.

"Factory activity in our region continues to hum along at a moderate rate of growth," said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "The marked improvement in hiring plans was a nice development."

The composite index gained to 7 in November from 6 in October, while the production index slipped to 11 from 14, volume of shipments fell to 3 from 14, and the volume of new orders index rose to 15 from 3, and the backlog of orders index surged to positive 14 from negative 2. The new orders for exports index dropped to negative 4 from zero, and the supplier delivery time index slid to negative 2 from positive 5.

The number of employees index gained to positive 6 from negative 2, while the average employee workweek index grew to 5 from 2. The prices received for finished product index dipped to 9 from 10, while the prices paid for raw materials index decreased to 17 from 26.

As for the inventories indexes, materials dropped to 4 from 12, while the finished goods declined to negative 2 from positive 10.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index grew to 12 from 8, and the production index increased to 21 from 19. The shipments jumped to 27 from 15, while new orders gained to 16 from 14, and the backlog of orders index dipped to 7 from 8. The new orders for exports index climbed to 9 from 5, and the supplier delivery time index fell to 2 from 4.

The number of employees index was at 20, up from 3, while the average employee workweek index soared to positive 11 from negative 3. The prices received for finished product index slid to 18 from 24, and the prices paid for raw materials fell to 31 from 45. The capital expenditures index was at 16, off from 17 the prior month.

As for the inventories indexes, materials remained at 2, while the finished goods index held at negative 3.

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

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