Manufacturing activity in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s region “remained modest in November, but new orders picked up and producers’ expectations for future activity were generally still solid,” according to the bank’s monthly manufacturing survey released yesterday. “Price indexes were mixed, with mostly stable finished goods price indexes and slightly higher raw materials price indexes.” The production index remained at 7 in November, unchanged from October. In the other monthly indexes, the volume of shipments index gained to 14 from 13, while the volume of new orders index reversed to positive 16 from negative 2, and backlog of orders index grew to positive 7 from negative 6. The new orders for exports index doubled to 4 from 2, and the supplier delivery time index crept up to 7 from 6.The number of employees index fell to negative 5 from negative 2, while the average employee workweek index improved to negative 1 from negative 4. The prices received for finished product index was at 11, unchanged from the prior month, while the prices paid for raw materials index jumped to 40 from 35.In projections for six months from now, the expectations for production index slipped to 27 from 29, the shipments index fell to 25 from 30, the new orders index decreased to 19 from 24, and the backlog of orders index dropped to 2 from 12. The new orders for exports index was at 17, up from 10 in October, and supplier delivery time index slid to 7 from 8.The number of employees index rose to 8 from 7, while the average employee workweek index reversed to negative 4 from positive 7. The prices received for finished product index declined to 26 from 37, while the prices paid for raw materials index rose to 57 from 51 and the capital expenditures index climbed to 19 from 14.

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