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Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Up An Expected 0.2%, But ...
by Tom Moeller September 14, 2007

Industrial production rose an expected 0.2% following a little revised 0.5% July increase.

The "But" in the headline, however, is due to a 0.3% decline in factory output. It followed a 0.8% gain which was upwardly revised only a bit from 0.6%. August was the first decline in factory output since February.

A 2.1% decline in the output of automotive products led the decline in manufacturing output last month. Output of business equipment also fell by 0.2% (+3.7 y/y) owing to declines in the production of industrial equipment as well as defense & space equipment.

Consumer goods output rose a modest 0.1% (2.0%) y/y). Production of computers & electronics fell 0.3% (+17.8 y/y) for the second month to month decline and the output of furniture & appliances fell 0.5% (-4.9% y/y). The big loser was production of apparel which fell by 1.8% (-2.6% y/y) though a larger drop in July was revised shallower. The main increase in the consumer goods area was by chemical products with a 0.8% rise?

Capacity utilization rose to 81.9%from 81.8% in June as capacity rose 0.1% (2.1% y/y).

Blazing temperatures throughout the country during August accounts for the 5.3% rise in utility output, mainly driving air conditioners.

How Accurate Are Real-Time Estimates of Output Trends and Gaps? from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond can be found here.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION (SA) August July Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Total 0.2% 0.5% 1.7% 4.0% 3.2% 2.5%
Manufacturing -0.3% 0.8% 1.7% 4.7% 3.9% 2.9%
Mining -0.7% 0.8% 0.5% 2.7% -1.6% -0.6%
Utilities 5.3% -1.6% 2.3% 0.2% 2.0% 1.4%
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