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

"Factories reported only minimal overall growth in our region in September, and both production and new orders fell slightly," said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "But firms anticipate growth to pick up later this year and on into next year."

The composite index decreased to 2 in September from 8 in August, while the production index slumped to negative 4 from positive 7, volume of shipments dropped to negative 83 from positive 12, and the volume of new orders index declined to negative 2 from positive 11, and the backlog of orders index reversed to negative 7 from positive 4. The new orders for exports index narrowed to negative 4 from negative 6, and the supplier delivery time index rose to 8 from 6.

The number of employees index dipped to 1 from 2, while the average employee workweek index slipped to negative 13 from negative 5. The prices received for finished product index rose to 5 from zero, while the prices paid for raw materials index increased to 30 from 26.

As for the inventories indexes, materials slumped to 7 from 16, while the finished goods dropped to 3 from 13.

In comparison to the same month a year ago, the composite index slid to 11 from 18, the production index fell to 12 from 25. The shipments index dropped to 16 from 22, while the volume of new orders slid to 6 from 16, and the backlog of orders index plunged to negative 4 from positive 14. The new orders for exports index dipped to negative 4 from positive 2, and the supplier delivery time index fell to 7 from 10.

The number of employees index slipped to 17 from 20, while the average employee workweek index gained to 5 from 1. The prices received for finished product index held at 35 and the prices paid for raw materials rose to 60 from 49. The capital expenditures index slipped to 17 from 21.

As for the inventories indexes, materials slumped to 11 from 16, while the finished goods index dropped to 12 from 19.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index remained 16, the production index dipped to 29 from 31. The shipments crept to 31 from 30, while new orders advanced to 24 from 21, and the backlog of orders index grew to 20 from 14. The new orders for exports index was unchanged at 3, and the supplier delivery time index decreased to 5 from 12.

The number of employees index held at 16, while the average employee workweek index doubled to 4 from 2. The prices received for finished product index slipped to 29 from 32, and the prices paid for raw materials rose to 49 from 44. The capital expenditures index was at 11, down from 18 the prior month.

As for the inventories indexes, materials rose to 9 from 2, while the finished goods index declined to 6 from 10.

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

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