The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the March Manufacturing Survey this week for its Tenth district that includes Oklahoma and showed manufacturing activity grew solidly compared to a month ago and a year ago.
Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the bank said the survey results indicate positive expectations for future activity.
“Regional factories continued to report solid growth in March,” said Wilkerson. “Materials prices remain extremely high for most firms. However, many manufacturers have been able to pass through at least a portion of the price increases on to customers.”
The survey found that the growth was driven more by durable goods plants for primary metals, machinery, transportation equipment, furniture, and miscellaneous manufacturing.
Month-over-month indexes for shipments, new orders, and order backlog expanded at a faster pace in March and supplier delivery time was very high as well. Growth in production and employment remained positive, but slightly slower than in recent months.
Materials inventories were positive while finished goods inventories dipped further from a month ago. Year-over-year factory indexes rose in March, and business conditions are now comparable to levels at the start of the pandemic last year.
The survey also show that while the year-over-year index increased, new orders for exports and finished goods inventories continued to lag year-ago levels.