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Economy in Brief

Industrial Production Gain All Utilities
by Tom Moeller April 15, 2005

Industrial production matched Consensus expectations and rose 0.3% in March following a downwardly revised 0.2% gain in February. The increase was due to cold weather which lifted utility output by 3.7% (5.0% y/y).

Factory sector output fell 0.1% (+4.2% y/y) for the first decline since September. Excluding a 0.9% (20.0% y/y) rise in high tech sector output, manufacturing production fell 0.2% (+3.1% y/y).

Motor vehicle & parts led output lower and fell 3.6% (+2.1% y/y). Excluding both high tech & motor vehicles factory in March, output ticked up 0.1% (3.2% y/y). Output of furniture was unchanged (-0.7% y/y) but clothing output fell 1.9% (-10.0% y/y). Machinery output rose 0.5% (7.3% y/y) and production of electrical equipment, appliances & components rose 0.4% (4.0% y/y).

Total capacity utilization rose to 79.4% as capacity grew 1.2% y/y. Factory sector utilization fell to 78.0% and capacity rose 1.3% y/y.

Yesterday's speech by Federal Reserve Board Governor Donald L. Kohn on the Economic Outlook can be found here.

Production & Capacity Mar Feb Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Industrial Production 0.3% 0.2% 3.9% 4.1% -0.0% -0.3%
  Consumer Goods -0.2% 0.5% 2.4% 2.7% 0.3% 1.4%
  Business Equipment 0.2% 0.2% 8.7% 9.5% 1.2% -7.9%
Capacity Utilization 79.4% 79.3% 77.4% (03/04) 78.1% 75.5% 75.3%
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