NEW YORK - Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s region “rebounded, and producers were more optimistic than in previous months,” according to the bank’s monthly manufacturing survey for May, released Thursday.

“After softening a bit in April, factory activity accelerated in May back to rates of growth similar to what we saw earlier in the year,” said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Price pressures also generally eased.”

The composite index increased to 9 in May from 3 in April, while the production index soared to 17 from zero, volume of shipments gained to 16 from 3, and the volume of new orders index reversed to positive 10 from negative 8, and the backlog of orders index improved to negative 3 from negative 5. The new orders for exports index climbed to 3 from 1, and the supplier delivery time index rose to 10 from 4.

The number of employees index slipped to 8 from 12, while the average employee workweek index improved to negative 2 from negative 10. The prices received for finished product index fell to zero from 7, while the prices paid for raw materials index decreased to 11 from 19.

As for the inventories indexes, materials slid to 1 from 5, while the finished goods reversed to positive 2 from negative 3.

In comparison to the same month a year ago, the composite index grew to 27 from 24, the production index rose to 38 from 30. The shipments index remained 35, while the volume of new orders gained to 32 from 28, and the backlog of orders index surged to 32 from 20. The new orders for exports index jumped to positive 9 from negative 2, and the supplier delivery time index doubled to 14 from 7.

The number of employees index slipped to 28 from 31, while the average employee workweek index dipped to 7 from 10. The prices received for finished product index slid to 34 from 41 and the prices paid for raw materials fell to 66 from 74. The capital expenditures index rose to 21 from 18.

As for the inventories indexes, materials dropped to 23 from 25, while the finished goods index skidded to 16 from 17.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index rose to 17 from 12, the production index soared to 40 from 26. The shipments index surged to 40 from 22, while new orders advanced to 29 from 23, and the backlog of orders index crept to 11 from 8. The new orders for exports index doubled to 10 from 5, and the supplier delivery time index slipped to zero from 1.

The number of employees index grew to 18 from 15, while the average employee workweek index reversed to negative 6 from positive 6. The prices received for finished product index climbed to 22 from 16, and the prices paid for raw materials fell to 48 from 54. The capital expenditures index was at 19, up from 6 the prior month.

As for the inventories indexes, materials rose to zero from negative 8, while the finished goods index improved to negative 3 from negative 4.

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

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