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posted on 26 February 2015

Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Growth Again Weakens in February 2015

Of the four regional manufacturing surveys released to date for February, three show manufacturing growth while one shows no growth.

The market was expecting a range between 3 to 5 (consensus 3) versus the actual at 1.


The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the February Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity rose just slightly from the previous month, but producers expected activity to pick up moderately in the months ahead.

"We saw a further slowing in growth this month, driven in part by weaker factory activity in our energy states", said Wilkerson. "The raw materials prices index also fell for the first time in over five years."


Tenth District manufacturing activity expanded just slightly in February, but producers expected activity to pick up moderately in the months ahead. Most price indexes continued to decrease, with several reaching their lowest level since 2009.

The month-over-month composite index was 1 in February, down from 3 in January and 8 in December (Tables 1 & 2, Chart). The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. The overall slower growth was mostly attributable to large declines in primary metals and computer and electronics production. Looking across District states, the weakest activity was in Colorado, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. In contrast, production activity in the fabricated metals and machinery industries both increased moderately. Other month-over-month indexes were mixed. The production and shipments indexes both moved back into positive territory. In contrast, the new orders index continued to decline, and the employment index decreased from 0 to -4. The finished goods inventory index eased from 8 to 3, and the raw materials inventory index also fell.

Year-over-year factory indexes were also somewhat mixed. The composite year-over-year index remained unchanged at 9, while the production, shipments, and order backlog indexes were higher than last month. The capital expenditures index edged up from 7 to 9, while both inventory indexes were basically unchanged. On the other hand, the new orders index inched lower from 5 to 3, and the employment index fell for the second straight month.

Summary of all Federal Reserve Districts Manufacturing:

Richmond Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z richmond_man.PNG

Kansas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z kansas_man.PNG

Dallas Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z dallas_man.PNG

Philly Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z philly fed1.PNG

New York Fed (hyperlink to reports):

z empire1.PNG

Federal Reserve Industrial Production - Actual Data (hyperlink to report):

Holding this and other survey's Econintersect follows accountable for their predictions, the following graph compares the hard data from Industrial Products manufacturing subindex (dark blue bar) and US Census manufacturing shipments (lighter blue bar) to the Dallas Fed survey (light blue bar).

Comparing Surveys to Hard Data:

z survey1.png

In the above graphic, hard data is the long bars, and surveys are the short bars. The arrows on the left side are the key to growth or contraction.

Steven Hansen

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