Tenth District manufacturing activity expanded slightly, and producers’ expectations for future activity remained solid. Price indexes increased moderately in November. The month-over-month composite index was 1 in November, down from 6 in October and September (Tables 1 & 2, Chart).
The composite index is an average of the production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time, and raw materials inventory indexes. Durable goods production continued to grow modestly, while nondurable goods activity fell moderately, particularly for food and plastics products.
Most month-over-month indexes slowed somewhat in November. The production index decreased from 18 to 9, and the shipments, new orders, and order backlog indexes also dropped. The employment index eased from 7 to 1, still the second highest reading in over a year. The finished goods inventory index fell from -9 to -13, while the raw materials inventory index was unchanged.
Most year-over-year factory indexes remained below zero. The composite year-over-year index was basically unchanged at -10, while the production, new orders, and order backlog indexes fell further into negative territory. The shipments index was unchanged, while the employment index inched higher from -14 to -11. The capital expenditures index improved somewhat from -7 to -1, while the new orders for exports index remained generally stable. The raw materials inventory index increased from -19 to -15, and the finished goods inventory index also moved higher.
Expectations for future factory activity were mixed, but remained generally solid. The future composite index moderated from 18 to 12, and the future production, shipments, and employment indexes also fell from year-long highs. However, the future new orders and order backlog indexes rose moderately, and the future capital spending index jumped from 8 to 19. The future raw materials inventory index dropped from 13 to 2, and the future finished goods index also decreased considerably. Price indexes increased in November.
The month-over-month finished goods price index edged higher from -5 to -2, and the raw materials price index jumped from 0 to 16. The year-over-year finished goods price index moved higher from 1 to 10, and the raw materials price rose slightly. The future finished goods price index inched higher from 8 to 11, and the future raw materials price index also increased.