Photographer: Cayce Clifford/Bloomberg

Fed Gauges Show Factories Shift to Higher Gear After Soft April

The latest regional tallies on U.S. manufacturing so far this month should dispel any concern about industrial momentum in the wake of some soft April readings.

Factory gains were most pronounced for the Philadelphia and Kansas City Federal Reserve regions, while indexes for the mid-Atlantic, Texas and New York state showed more moderate expansion. By and large, producers reported improvements in orders growth, spurring labor-market indicators, and they also noted higher prices paid and received.

The latest figures show resilience in manufacturing even though the data suggested that respondents remained concerned about the adverse effects from U.S. tariffs on their business and on materials costs.

May Momentum

Manufacturing improved this month across five U.S. regions on firm orders

Source: Federal Reserve district banks

The regional figures help provide economists with a basis for their estimates of the Institute for Supply Management’s closely followed manufacturing gauge, due Friday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey calls for an increase in May to 58.2 from an April reading of 57.3 that was the weakest since July of last year.

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