Of the three regional manufacturing surveys released for March, all were in expansion.

Analyst Opinion of Kansas City Fed Manufacturing

Kansas City Fed manufacturing has been one of the more stable districts and their index was unchanged. Note that the key internal “new orders” was in contraction this month.

There were no market expectations from Bloomberg / Econoday. The reported value was 17. Any value below zero is contraction.

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the March Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity continued at a solid pace, and optimism remained high for future activity. “Factory activity continued to grow steadily in March,” said Wilkerson. “Firms continued to report high input and selling prices and many are concerned about higher steel and aluminum tariffs.”

Tenth District manufacturing activity continued at a solid pace in March, and optimism remained high for future activity. In a special question on the effect of potential steel and aluminum tariffs, most contacts indicated some impact, with varying anticipated degrees of severity. Price indexes were little changed in March after considerable increases the past few months. The month-over-month composite index was 17 in March, equal to 17 in February and higher than 16 in January (Tables 1 & 2, Chart 1). The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. Factory activity grew modestly at durable goods plants, particularly for machinery and aircraft, while production of nondurable goods moderated slightly. Month-over-month indexes were mixed. The shipments and new orders indexes decreased moderately, while the production, order backlog, and new orders for exports indexes where basically unchanged. In contrast, the employment index edged up from 23 to 26 and the supplier delivery time index jumped from 16 to 30, both at their highest levels in survey history. The raw materials inventory index increased from 8 to 11, and the finished goods inventory index also rose modestly

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