Kansas City Fed sees slight growth; firms can’t find workers

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Respondents to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's monthly manufacturing survey reported slower growth in February, while expectations slipped.

"Regional factories saw hardly any growth in February," said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “More than three-quarters of firms reported difficulties in finding workers, despite wage increases.”

The composite index dipped to 1 in February from 5 in January, while the production index slipped to negative 4 from positive 2, volume of shipments dropped to negative 4 from positive 6, the volume of new orders index fell to negative 10 from positive 1, and the backlog of orders index decreased to negative 18 from negative 13. The new orders for exports index narrowed to negative 2 from negative 10 and the supplier delivery time index fell to 10 from 14.

The number of employees index rose to 10 from 7, while the average employee workweek index declined to zero from 7. The prices received for finished product index slid to 18 from 23, while the prices paid for raw materials index dropped to 19 from 23.

As for the inventories indexes, materials declined to negative 2 from positive 4, while the finished goods fell to 4 from 8.

In projections for six months from now, the composite index decreased to 13 from 18, and the production index dropped to 18 from 33. The shipments plunged to 15 from 30, while new orders declined to 13 from 25, and the backlog of orders index fell to 4 from 17. The new orders for exports index narrowed to negative 3 from negative 4, and the supplier delivery time index slid to 12 from 13.

The number of employees index was at 28, up from 22 last month, while the average employee workweek index slipped to 5 from 10. The prices received for finished product index fell to 34 from 40, and the prices paid for raw materials decreased to 43 from 49. The capital expenditures index was at 12, down from 33 the prior month.

As for the inventories indexes, materials fell to negative 4 from negative 2, while the finished goods index reversed to positive 2 from negative 5.

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

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Economic indicators Manufacturing industry Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
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