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Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Recovers
by Tom Moeller  July 17, 2012

Industrial output gained 0.4% during June following a revised 0.2% May decline, last month reported as -0.1%. A 0.3% increase had been expected. A rebound in factory output led last month's improvement with a 0.7% rise which reversed the prior month's drop. Working the other way, utilities output fell 2.0% with a cool start to summer after a 2.9% May rise.

In manufacturing, the capital goods sector continued to stand out with a 1.6% rise (12.7% y/y) in business equipment output. Consumer goods production  rose a scant 0.1% (2.1% y/y) and made up May's slip. The 1.4% rise (19.4% y/y) in auto output was offset by a 1.3% decline (-2.2% y/y) in computers, audio & video equipment. Appliance & furniture production was unchanged (3.0% y/y) while clothing production fell 1.7% (-3.5% y/y). Utilities output fell 2.0% (-2.4% y/y).

Capacity utilization nudged up to 78.9%. In manufacturing alone, utilization rose to 77.7% and remained up from the recession low of 64.4%. Overall capacity is estimated to have risen 1.3% y/y following a 0.2% dip last year and a 2.0% decline during 2010. In the factory sector, capacity rose 1.2% y/y and excluding the high-tech industries it increased 0.8%.

Industrial production and capacity data are included in Haver's USECON database, with additional detail in the IP database. The expectations figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

This morning's Senate testimony by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is available here.

Industrial Production (SA, % Change) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total Output 0.4 -0.2 0.7 4.6 4.1 5.4 -11.4
Manufacturing 0.7 -0.7 0.7 5.6 4.3 5.7 -13.8
  Consumer Goods 0.1 -0.1 0.9 2.1 2.3 1.1 -6.9
  Business Equipment 1.6 0.1 1.6 12.7 8.3 8.3 -18.2
  Construction Supplies -0.4 -1.3 0.6 4.8 5.6 3.8 -22.9
Materials 0.4 -0.2 0.6 4.9 4.6 8.4 -11.5
Utilities -2.0 2.9 2.3 -2.4 -0.3 3.6 -2.5
Capacity Utilization (%) 78.9 78.7 78.9 76.3 76.8 73.7 68.5
 Manufacturing 77.7 77.3 77.9 74.4 75.0 71.3 65.5
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