A January survey taken by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City indicated manufacturing activity in Oklahoma and other states making up the Tenth District increased at a faster pace compared to a month ago.
“Regional factories reported more growth in January,” said Chad Wilkerson, Vice President and Economist at the bank.
“COVID-19 vaccination is a key factor in manufacturers’ overall business outlook for 2021, but with less impact on hiring and capital spending in the near-term.”
The survey also found that prices paid for raw materials continued to rise rapidly to the highest reading since 2011. Prices for finished goods also grew from a month ago as well as a year earlier.
The survey of managers found that production, shipments, new orders, employment, employee workweeks, new orders for exports increased in January and order backlog expanded at a steady pace.
An estimated 93% of those who answered the survey indicated the widespread COVID-19 vaccination was important to their firm’s overall business outlook for 2021. At least 53% said it was “very important.”
“If we want to get our economy back on track our country needs to put a priority on getting the population vaccinated,” said one in answering the survey.
Many of the respondents said continued COVID-19 outbreaks or related government shutdowns would have a significant negative impact in the near-term.
“Our business levels are up vs. last year already. The vaccine will help the general economy, which should increase our business even more,” said another.
For hiring, 14% of contacts indicated the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has negatively affected plans for 2021 because of the slow rollout so far.
On the other hand, 8% of contacts noted the vaccine rollout has positively affected hiring plans for later in 2021. For capital spending, 15% of firms indicated the vaccine rollout has had negative effects on plans for 2021 again because of delays and hesitant demand from consumers.
National politics also entered the COVID-19 vaccine picture as one manager replied.
“We are hopeful that bipartisanship will reemerge, stimulus will be strong and that the vaccine rollout gains momentum quickly. If this can happen, the economy can recover quickly.”
The January survey was open for a five-day period from January 20-25, 2021 and included 106 responses from plants in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico, and western Missouri.
Click here to view entire results of federal survey.