Respondents to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's monthly manufacturing survey reported higher prices received, suggesting growing inflation, while respondents voiced concern about trade policy.
"Factory activity accelerated in April despite concerns among many firms about changes in international trade policy," said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Price indexes also continued to rise.”
The composite index surged to 26 in April (tying its all-time high) from 17 in March, while the production index climbed to 33 from 20, volume of shipments soared to 37 from 12, the volume of new orders index rebounded to positive 37 from negative 1, and the backlog of orders index gained to 29 from 14. The new orders for exports index held at 1 and the supplier delivery time index fell to 17 from 30.
The number of employees index remained at 26, while the average employee workweek index slid to 10 from 15. The prices received for finished product index grew to 29 from 24, while the prices paid for raw materials index dipped to 52 from 55.
As for the inventories indexes, materials increased to 17 from 11, while the finished goods declined to 4 from 9.
In projections for six months from now, the composite index fell to 31 from 33, and the production index climbed to 44 from 42. The shipments gained to 47 from 42, while new orders decreased to 30 from 42, and the backlog of orders index dipped to 26 from 30. The new orders for exports index slid to 12 from 14, and the supplier delivery time index climbed to 28 from 23.
The number of employees index was at 35, off from 36 last month, while the average employee workweek index grew to 23 from 17. The prices received for finished product index increased to 53 from 48, and the prices paid for raw materials declined to 66 from 72. The capital expenditures index was at 37, unchanged from the prior month.
As for the inventories indexes, materials fell to 19 from 21, while the finished goods index decreased to 11 from 15.
The Tenth Federal Reserve District includes Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.