Manufacturing in the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank district fell again in December though by smaller amounts than in October and November, according to a Fed survey.
Factories reported being more optimistic about future production than last month, but a higher share also said they plan to cut employment in coming months.
“We saw factory activity decline for the third straight month, which many firms blamed on the uncertainty created by the fiscal cliff talks,” said Chad Wilkerson, economist and head of the Oklahoma City Fed branch.
The Fed district includes Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, and parts of Missouri and New Mexico.
Oil prices fell as much as $2 a barrel Friday as doubts grew about whether political leaders in Washington could reach a deal on the budget.
Benchmark crude for February delivery fell $1.47 to finish at $88.66 per barrel in New York.