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Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Total Slips But Factory Output Gains
by Tom Moeller  November 15, 2013

Industrial production slipped 0.1% during last month (+3.3% y/y) following an unrevised 0.6% September increase. A 0.2% gain had been expected in the Action Economics survey. A 1.1% pullback (-0.8% y/y) in utility output held back total production last month. Factory output, however, worked 0.3% higher (3.3% y/y). A 0.5% gain (3.3% y/y) in defense & space equipment production provided much of the strength to the manufacturing output total last month.

Total output was also held back by a 0.1% slip (+2.5% y/y) in the production of consumer goods. Production of automotive products fell 1.0% (11.1% y/y). That was offset by a 2.6% gain (8.2% y/y) in apparel output and a 1.4% rise (0.2% y/y) in computers, video & audio equipment production. Production of business equipment also gained 0.2% (5.2% y/y). Production of construction supplies added 0.3% (6.6% y/y) but materials output fell 0.4% (+3.2% y/y).  

The capacity utilization rate slipped to 78.1% led by the decline in utilities to 78.3%. In the factory sector, the utilization rate ticked higher to 76.2%. The electrical equipment industry is producing at 80.8% of capacity while motor vehicle businesses are at 75.9%. Also, the apparel industry is producing at 74.3% of capacity. Overall industry capacity rose 1.7% y/y last month while factory sector capacity increased 1.6% y/y.

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) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total Output -0.1 0.6 0.5 3.3 3.6 3.3 5.7
Manufacturing 0.3 -0.1 0.6 3.3 3.9 3.4 6.1
  Consumer Goods -0.1 0.8 0.3 2.5 1.6 1.5 1.1
  Business Equipment 0.2 1.1 0.7 5.2 8.3 5.6 8.3
  Construction Supplies 0.3 1.0 0.4 6.6 5.2 3.0 3.6
Materials -0.4 0.4 0.5 3.2 4.1 4.7 8.8
Utilities -1.1 4.3 -0.9 -0.8 -2.1 -0.2 3.6
Capacity Utilization (%) 78.1 78.3 77.9 77.0 77.6 76.5 74.0
 Manufacturing 76.2 76.1 76.1 74.9 75.8 74.0 71.3
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