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Growth in Manufacturing Activity Edged Higher in Central and Western U.S.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (07/24/14)

Growth in manufacturing activity edged higher in July in parts of the central and western U.S., and producers’ optimism for future activity increased. Firms continued to note difficulties with retaining certain types of workers, particularly machinists and welders.

The month-to-month composite index rose to 9 in July, up from 6 in June. The growth in manufacturing activity occurred mostly at durable goods-producing plants, particularly machinery products, while nondurable goods-producers reported fairly flat activity.

The future employment index rose from 14 to 23, its highest level in six months, and the future employee workweek index neared a five-year high.