Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's region "rose moderately, although producers' expectations for future activity eased somewhat," according to the bank's monthly manufacturing survey, released Thursday.

"We saw several positive things in this month's survey. Production and shipments rebounded after being disrupted by storms last month," said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, "And while some firms remain hesitant to expand, overall capital spending and hiring plans remain positive."

The composite index reversed to positive 6 in July from negative 5 in June, while the production index surged to positive 21 from negative 17, volume of shipments soared to positive 19 from negative 16, and the volume of new orders index rose to positive 5 from negative 10, and the backlog of orders index widened to negative 7 from negative 4. The new orders for exports index improved to positive 2 from negative 5, and the supplier delivery time index slipped to 1 from 2.

The number of employees index dipped to negative 2 from negative 1, while the average employee workweek index narrowed to negative 6 from negative 13. The prices received for finished product index slipped to zero from positive 3, while the prices paid for raw materials index increased to 16 from 14.

As for the inventories indexes, materials remained at 4, while the finished goods slid to 1 from 6.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index fell to 7 from 12, and the production index dropped to 17 from 24. The shipments slid to 12 from 26, while new orders decreased to 20 from 26, and the backlog of orders index declined to zero from 14. The new orders for exports index dropped to negative 1 from positive 13, and the supplier delivery time index increased to 7 from 4.

The number of employees index held at 7, while the average employee workweek index rose to 2 from 1. The prices received for finished product index grew to 24 from 21, and the prices paid for raw materials fell to 36 from 46. The capital expenditures index was at 12, down from 16 the prior month.

As for the inventories indexes, materials widened to negative 13 from negative 2, while the finished goods index dropped to negative 9 from positive 3.

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

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