Manufacturing activity ticks up slightly in KC Fed district

The May manufacturing survey by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank showed that activity in the district has improved somewhat, turning positive for the first time in seven months, and producers’ expectations for future activity also increased.

The composite index – production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes – was 2 in May, up from -5 in April and March. A reading above 0 indicates growth. The rise in production came from both durable and non-durable goods-producing plants, according to a news release from the Fed.

“Some firms see signs of a pickup in activity later this year driven by pent up demand and new product offerings, but others have become more pessimistic recently as anticipated demand has failed to materialize,” said Chad Wilkerson, bank vice president and economist, in a statement.

The bank’s district encompassing the western third of Missouri; all of Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming; and the northern half of New Mexico.