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Kansas Fed Plunges To 2-Year Lows, New Orders Crash: "Economy Not As Strong As Media Portrays"

How can it be? Services PMI was at 6-month highs. The Kansas City Fed Index tumbled to -4 in March (against expectations of +1) and was last below this level in Feb 2013. KC Fed has now missed for 6 of the last 8 months and the report is a disaster across the board. New orders plunged to -20 (2nd lowest print since Lehman), order backlogs imploded, average workweek collapsed to -17 (lowest since Lehman), and future capex expectations fell to a five-year low. As one respondent noted, "we do not see the economy as being as strong as a portrayed in the national media reports."

 

Ugly...

 

Uglier...

 

As for Capex, stick a fork in it: worst expectations in 5 years.

 

Ugliest... Selected Comments.

  • “We continue to produce to fill orders we have in house but invoicing is down because customers are delaying shipments due to the large amount of snow in their yards. All of the suppliers have sent notices of a raw material increase. If those are implemented our projections will come to a grinding halt.
  • “The drop in oil prices is negatively impacting our business levels. We do not see the economy as being as strong as a portrayed in the national media reports.”
  • “Due to the port disruption, we are diverting as many containers to east coast ports as possible.”
  • “We are still hiring and operating at full capacity but the flow of new orders for delivery in 2016 has significantly slowed. Hopefully, this trend will improve as the oil & gas producers deal with their excess production issues.”
  • The low price for oil is taking its toll on the demand and price for energy related products we offer. Momentum we experienced earlier this year has left and we are again cost cutting and becoming lean. Our capital expenditures are focused on removing labor content in our processes and products due to the high cost and risk added by regulation and administrative action.”
  • With the strong dollar, we keep continuing to see flood of low prices imports thereby reducing our margins.
  • “Because of the West Coast port disruption, parts are tied up in transit that are several weeks late. Production lines have been shut down for days at a time and we have had customers cancel orders. We will not regain that business when the raw materials come in and in fact have lost some customers.”

But apart from that... everything is awesome.

 

Charts: Bloomberg