Commodity bust, higher dollar continue to harm region’s manufacturers

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank survey for August showed a continued decline in manufacturing, although firms remain somewhat positive about the future.

Manufacturing in the region has fallen nearly every month since March 2015 because of several big changes that happened in late 2014 and early 2015. A sharp drop in oil and gas prices early last year cut drilling, and the demand for oil and gas-related equipment considerably. A plunge in farm prices sliced farm incomes and farm machinery purchases. And a rise in the value of the dollar and slowdown in global growth cut demand for exports of all kinds.

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