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Economy in Brief

Industrial Output Up
by Tom Moeller December 15, 2005

A surprising 4.8% jump in mining output pushed the gain in overall industrial output last month to 0.7% and that exceeded Consensus expectations for a 0.5% rise.

Factory sector production rose a moderate 0.4% (4.1% y/y) on the heels of the 1.9% spike in October which followed curtailments due to hurricanes.

Higher output of business equipment again led the strength in factory output. A 0.9% (10.4% y/y) increase last month reflected strong gains in transit equipment (12.8% y/y), information processing equipment (19.4% y/y) and industrial & other (5.0% y/y). Excluding the high tech sector altogether, factory output gained 0.1% (2.5% y/y).

Consumer goods output fell by 0.8% (+1.4% y/y) led by a 5.2% decline (+0.2% y/y) fall in automotive products. Output of appliances, furniture & carpeting also fell hard by 1.6% (+2.0% y/y) but output of computers, video & audio equipment output rose 4.2% (2.4% y/y). Nondurables output inched up 0.1% with apparel output up 0.8% (-2.6% y/y).

Total capacity utilization rose to 80.2% and capacity grew 1.6% y/y. Factory sector utilization rose to 79.4% while capacity rose 2.1% y/y.

Production & Capacity Nov Oct Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Industrial Production 0.7% 1.2% 2.8% 4.1% 0.6% 0.1%
  Consumer Goods -0.8% -0.2% 1.4% 2.1% 1.0% 2.2%
  Business Equipment 0.9% 7.4% 10.4% 9.3% 0.0% -7.8%
Capacity Utilization 80.2% 79.8% 79.3% (11/04) 78.6% 75.7% 75.2%
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