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Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Surges by Most Since May 2010
by Tom Moeller  December 15, 2014

Industrial production jumped 1.3% last month (5.2% y/y) following a 0.1% uptick, revised from -0.1%. Manufacturing sector production surged 1.1% (4.7% y/y) following an upwardly revised 0.4% rise, last month reported as 0.2%. Three-month growth in overall production surged to 9.5% (AR). A 0.7% gain in total production was expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Consumer goods production increased 2.5% (4.1% y/y) fueled by a 5.1% rise (7.7% y/y) in motor vehicles & parts which followed a 0.4% dip. Production of machinery gained 1.0% (8.2% y/y) after a 2.9% rise and electrical machinery output jumped 0.8% (2.9% y/y), making up a 0.5% decline. Computer production rose 0.5% (5.5% y/y) following a 0.9% increase while furniture production remained unchanged (7.8% y/y) after a 0.4% rise. In the nondurable goods sector, apparel production jumped 2.3% (2.9% y/y) after no change and chemical production gained 0.9% (5.4% y/y) after a 0.7% rise. Textile production increased 0.8% (2.8% y/y), about the same as in October, and petroleum output improved 2.1% (4.5% y/y) after a 0.2% rise. Business equipment production rose 1.2% (6.5% y/y) following a 0.9% gain. Output of transit equipment increased 1.6% (5.8% y/y) after a 1.1% decline.

Within the special aggregate series, high technology industries posted a 1.1% production gain (7.1% y/y) following a 0.7% increase. It was helped by a 2.6% rise (0.4% y/y) in computers & office equipment after a 0.6% drop. Factory sector production excluding the high-tech sector rose 1.1% (4.7% y/y) following a 0.4% increase. Manufacturing production excluding both high-tech and autos improved 0.8% (4.5% y/y) after a 0.5% gain.

The capacity utilization rate increased to 80.1%, the high since 80.5% averaged in 2007. In the factory sector, the capacity utilization rate jumped to an expansion high of 79.2. Total industry capacity rose an improved 3.1% y/y while factory sector capacity increased 2.2% 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.

Measuring and Financing Infrastructure Investments from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago can be found here.

Industrial Production (SA, % Change) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Total Output 1.3 0.1 0.9 5.2 2.9 3.8 3.3
Manufacturing 1.1 0.4 0.4 4.7 2.7 4.1 3.3
  Consumer Goods 2.5 0.0 0.8 4.1 2.4 1.7 1.5
  Business Equipment 1.2 0.9 -0.3 6.5 3.6 7.5 5.6
  Construction Supplies 0.6 0.2 0.6 4.7 4.2 4.6 3.0
Materials 0.8 0.0 1.1 6.1 3.2 4.5 4.7
Utilities 5.1 -0.8 4.3 1.8 2.1 -2.1 -0.2
Capacity Utilization (%) 80.1 79.3 79.5 78.5 78.0 77.3 76.3
 Manufacturing 78.4 77.6 77.4 76.4 76.1 75.5 73.9
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