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Economy in Brief

Industrial Production Recovered
by Tom Moeller June 15, 2005

With a 0.3% rise in May, industrial production recovered all of the prior month's deepened 0.3% decline. Consensus expectations had been for a 0.2% gain.

The headline figure masked a sharper improvement in factory sector output which rose 0.6% (3.3% y/y) following two months of modest decline. Scattered industry gains were strongest for machinery (6.7% y/y), electrical equipment (2.2% y/y) aerospace (7.9% y/y) and high tech (19.5% y/y). Excluding the high tech sector factory output rose 0.4% (2.3% y/y) and reversed the decline during the prior two months.

Motor vehicle output rose a slight 0.1% (+1.4% y/y) following two months of sharp decline. Output of furniture fell 0.2% (-3.6% y/y), the fourth monthly decline this year.

Total capacity utilization rose to 79.4% and capacity grew 1.2% y/y. Factory sector utilization rose to 78.2% versus 76.7% last May and capacity rose 1.4% y/y.

Production & Capacity May April Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Industrial Production 0.3% -0.3% 2.7% 4.1% -0.0% -0.3%
  Consumer Goods 0.5% -0.9% 1.4% 2.7% 0.3% 1.4%
  Business Equipment 0.8% 1.0% 8.1% 9.5% 1.2% -7.9%
Capacity Utilization 79.4% 79.1% 78.2% (05/04) 78.1% 75.5% 75.3%
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