The Tenth District manufacturing survey posted continued solid growth in February, and firms’ expectations for future activity increased moderately. Most price indexes rose further, with some indexes at their highest levels in seven to ten years.
The month-over-month composite index was 17 in February, higher than 16 in January and 13 in December. The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. Factory activity grew at both durable and non-durable goods plants, particularly for metals, machinery, and plastics products. Most month-over-month indexes also increased. The shipments, new orders, and employment indexes all rose moderately. The order backlog index fell from 20 to 13, and the new orders for
exports index also eased somewhat. The raw materials inventory index decreased from 15 to 8, while the finished goods inventory index was basically unchanged.
Most year-over-year factory indexes were higher in February. The composite index rose from 35 to 38, and the production, shipments, new orders, and order backlog indexes also increased. The employment index climbed from 31
to 39, and the capital expenditures index inched slightly higher. The raw materials inventory index fell from 38 to 23, while the finished goods inventory index increased slightly.
Future factory activity expectations improved moderately over the previous month. The future composite index rose from 29 to 38, and the future production, shipments, new orders, and order backlog indexes also increased. The future employment index jumped from 33 to 41, while the future capital expenditures index moved slightly lower. The future raw materials inventory index increased from 15 to 23, while the future finished goods inventory index decreased modestly.
Most price indexes continued to increase in February. The month-over-month finished goods price index rose from 21 to 26, and the raw materials price index increased considerably, with both reaching their highest levels in the last seven to nine years. The year-over-year finished goods price index edged up from 49 to 51, its highest level since September 2011, and the year-over-year raw materials price index moved moderately higher. The future finished goods price index climbed from 44 to 53, reaching a ten-year high, and the future raw materials price index jumped to its highest level in seven years.