Manufacturing shrinks again in KC Fed survey

A survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City showed that manufacturing in the bank’s district contracted modestly again in January, but that factories’ expectations remained relatively optimistic.

The survey showed that manufacturing had dropped slightly for the fourth straight month as fiscal policy uncertainty weighed on companies’ plans, said Chad Wilkerson, the bank’s vice president and economist.

But, Wilkerson said, expectations for new orders rose quite a bit in January, while hiring and capital spending plans were modestly positive.

The Federal Reserve District includes Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming, the western third of Missouri and the northern half of New Mexico.