Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (03/26/15)
Manufacturing activity in the Plains states declined in March, and producers’ expectations moderated somewhat but remained slightly positive, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Most price indexes continued to decrease, with several reaching their lowest level since 2009. In a special question about the West Coast port disruptions, 32% of firms said it had affected them negatively.
The month-to-month composite index was -4 in March, down from 1 in February. The production and shipments indexes fell after rising last month, and the new orders and order backlog indexes dropped to their lowest levels in more than two years. In contrast, the employment index inched higher but remained negative, while the future employment index dropped from 14 to 7, its lowest level in over a year.