Photo: J.D. Pooley/Getty Images
Manufacturing continued to expand in the Midwest, the Kansas City Federal Reserve announced this morning.The composite index measuring manufacturer activity in the tenth district surged to a reading of 13, the highest reading since last June. Expectations were for the main index to increase two points to 9, from January’s reading.
“Factories further ramped up activity in February and – despite a drop off in export orders – were more optimistic about future output and hiring than at any time in the past year,” Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said.
Activity increased across both durable and non-durable producing plants, with the Fed noting particular strength in machinery, fabricated metals, and aircraft industries.
Manufacturers surveyed were generally upbeat about the coming six months, with the order backlog and volume of order sub indexes hitting highs not seen in more than 12 months.
Other indexes were mixed in February, with the new orders for export falling to -7, from 10 in January.
The Tenth District includes all of Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, the northern half of New Mexico, and the western third of Missouri.
Below, the individual readings of each sub index.
Photo: Kansas City Fed