Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (04/23/15)
Manufacturing activity in the Plains states declined in April, although producers’ expectations improved slightly from last month, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The month-to-month composite index was -7 in April, down from -4 in March. The shipments index fell from 0 to -7, and the order backlog and employment indexes dropped to their lowest levels since 2009. In contrast, the production index remained unchanged at -2, and the new orders index rose slightly but still remained negative.
“Regional factories had their worst month in quite some time, as exports continued to drop and conditions worsened among producers of oil and gas-related goods,” said Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the regional Fed bank. “However, a positive development was a decline in supplier delivery times, which had been rising due to West Coast port disruptions.”