Business

June 26, 2014

Manufacturing slows in the Midwest

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said its monthly index of factory business dipped to a reading of 6 in June, down from 10 in May. Companies also cited a shortage of certain skilled workers.

Manufacturing activity in the seven-state region that includes Kansas and part of Missouri had a bumpy June, according to a survey released Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

The Fed said its monthly index of factory business dipped to a reading of 6 in June, down from 10 in May and 7 in April.

“We saw some moderation in factory growth in June and many contacts mentioned difficulties finding qualified workers,” said Chad Wilkerson, a vice president and economist at the Kansas City Fed.

In particular, companies cited a shortage of welders, engineers and machinists.

The index monitors production, new orders, employment, supplier delivery time and raw material inventory. Besides Kansas and the western third of Missouri, the Kansas City Fed’s territory covers Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma and the northern part of New Mexico.

The survey also noted that business expectations for future factory orders “showed little change and remained at solid levels.”

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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