Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s region “eased slightly” in December, while expectations for future activity improved, according to the bank’s monthly manufacturing survey, released Thursday.

The composite index reversed to negative 4 in December from positive 4 in November, while the production index fell to negative 8 from zero.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index crept to 14 from 12, the production index held at 22.

“We saw a slight moderation in factory activity in our region in December,” said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Kansas City Fed.

“But plant managers continue to expect solid growth in the months ahead and are planning to increase employment and capital spending accordingly,” he said.

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