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Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Recovers With Across-the-Board Gains
by Tom Moeller  March 15, 2013

Industrial production jumped 0.7% (2.5% y/y) during February following a 0.1% January uptick, earlier reported as a 0.1% dip. A 0.4% gain had been expected in the Action Economics survey. Firmer factory sector production led the increase with a 0.8% rebound (2.0% y/y) after a 0.4% January drop.

The increase in factory sector output was led by a 3.6% rise (9.3% y/y) in motor vehicle production. In the consumer products area, furniture & related product production surged another 1.7% (0.3% y/y) while apparel out rose 0.2% (-2.1% y/y). For business equipment, machinery output posted a strong 1.7% gain (1.7% y/y) while electrical equipment production improved by 1.2% (2.9% y/y). Computer & electronic products output rose 0.6% (2.2% y/y). Production of chemicals rose 0.3% (1.6% y/y) and petroleum product production gained 1.5% (-0.3% y/y). Excluding the output of high tech products & motor vehicles, production rose 0.5% (1.5% y/y).

The capacity utilization rate recovered to 79.6% in February. In the factory sector, the rate increased to 78.3%, its highest level since December 2007. Overall industry capacity rose 1.6% y/y while factory sector capacity increased the same 1.6%

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.

 

Industrial Production (SA, % Change) Feb Jan Dec Feb Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total Output 0.7 0.1 0.2 2.5 3.9 4.1 5.4
Manufacturing 0.8 -0.4 1.4 2.0 4.2 4.3 5.7
  Consumer Goods 0.6 0.2 0.2 1.9 1.7 2.3 1.1
  Business Equipment 2.5 -1.2 0.5 6.6 10.4 8.3 8.3
  Construction Supplies 1.6 1.1 1.2 2.8 5.0 5.6 3.8
Materials 0.3 -0.1 0.4 2.3 4.1 4.6 8.4
Utilities 1.6 4.8 -6.3 5.7 -1.7 -0.3 3.6
Capacity Utilization (%) 79.6 79.2 79.3 79.0 78.8 76.8 73.7
 Manufacturing 78.3 77.8 78.2 78.0 77.3 75.0 71.3
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