Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's region "fell by a similar modest amount as last month, and producers' expectations moderated but remained positive overall," according to the bank's monthly manufacturing survey, released Thursday.

"We saw another small decline in regional factory activity this month," said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "Some firms see signs of a pickup in activity later this year driven by pent up demand and new product offerings, but others have become more pessimistic recently as anticipated demand has failed to materialize."

The composite index remained at negative 5 in April, unchanged from negative 5 in March, while the production index reversed to positive 1 from negative 1, volume of shipments climbed to 7 from zero, and the volume of new orders index held at zero, and the backlog of orders index narrowed to negative 8 from negative 16. The new orders for exports index widened to negative 8 from negative 7, and the supplier delivery time index inched up to negative 4 from negative 5.

The number of employees index improved to negative 3 from negative 15, while the average employee workweek index climbed to negative 7 from negative 8. The prices received for finished product index stayed at negative 1, while the prices paid for raw materials index decreased to 7 from 19.

As for the inventories indexes, materials slumped to negative 17 from negative 2, while the finished goods slid to negative 4 from zero.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index dropped to 4 from 14, and the production index slumped to 8 from 26. The shipments fell to 10 from 26, while new orders declined to 9 from 30, and the backlog of orders index slid to 3 from 16. The new orders for exports index dipped to 5 from 11, and the supplier delivery time index decreased to zero from 3.

The number of employees index slipped to 8 from 12, while the average employee workweek index reversed to negative 7 from positive 9. The prices received for finished product index rose to 24 from 22, and the prices paid for raw materials stayed at 38. The capital expenditures index was at 11, down from 21 the prior month.

As for the inventories indexes, materials widened to negative 7 from negative 2, while the finished goods index slid to negative 10 from negative 6.

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

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