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Economy in Brief

Industrial Production Increase Light
by Tom Moeller August 16, 2005

Industrial production increased 0.1% last month following a downwardly revised 0.8% gain in June. Consensus expectations had been for a 0.5% rise. Factory sector output also slowed to half the prior month's gain and rose 0.2% (3.1% y/y) in July.

Lower motor vehicle production, off 2.3% (+4.4% y/y), was responsible for much of last month's weakness in output growth. Less motor vehicles, factory output rose 0.3% (2.8% y/y) after a 0.2% June increase.

With a 2.6% (19.0% y/y) spike, output of computers & peripheral equipment posted the largest one month increase since January. Excluding the high tech sector as well as autos, factory output rose 0.2% (1.8% y/y).

Output of industrial & other equipment jumped 1.3% (1.8% y/y) and furniture output rose 0.4% (-1.9% y/y). On the weak side was nondurable goods which fell 0.2% (+1.2% y/y).

Total capacity utilization dipped to 79.7% and capacity grew 1.1% y/y. Factory sector utilization was stable at 78.3%, up from 77.0% last July and capacity rose 1.3% y/y.

The Relationship Between Capacity Utilization and Inflation from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia can be found here.

Production & Capacity July June Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Industrial Production 0.1% 0.8% 3.0% 4.1% -0.0% -0.3%
  Consumer Goods -0.4% 1.1% 3.0% 2.7% 0.3% 1.4%
  Business Equipment 1.2% 0.2% 6.7% 9.5% 1.2% -7.9%
Capacity Utilization 79.7% 79.8% 78.3% (7/04) 78.1% 75.5% 75.3%
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