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Economy in Brief

Industrial Production Disappointing, Factory Output Down Broadly
by Tom Moeller October 15, 2004

In September, industrial production rose just 0.2% following a downwardly revised 0.2% decline the prior month. Consensus expectations had been for a 0.4% September increase.

Production in the factory sector fell 0.3% (+5.3% y/y) last month following the modest 0.2% August gain.

Output fell broadly; motor vehicles (-0.4% m/m, -1.2% y/y), furniture (-0.6% m/m, +2.9% y/y), petroleum (-3.3% m/m, -0.3% y/y), and textiles (-0.9% m/m, -1.7% y/y).

The high tech sector was relatively firm posting a 1.0% (20.8% y/y) gain, however the prior month's strength was revised down and the sector's growth has been ebbing.Factory output excluding motor vehicles & high tech fell 0.3% (+4.8% y/y), the third down month in the last four (August was revised to a 0.2% decline).

Total capacity utilization was stable at an upwardly revised 77.3%. Growth in capacity inched up to 1.4% y/y from 1.1% earlier this year.

Production & Capacity Aug July Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Industrial Production 0.2% -0.2% 4.7% 0.3% -0.6% -3.4%
Capacity Utilization 77.2% 77.2% 74.9%(9/03) 74.8% 75.6% 77.4%
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