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Economy in Brief

U.S. Industrial Production Rebounds in October
by Tom Moeller  November 16, 2021

• Recovery from Hurricane Ida lifts output.

• High-tech sector remains strong.

• Capacity utilization increases.

Industrial production increased 1.6% (5.1% y/y) during October following an unrevised 1.3% September decline. The Fed indicated that roughly half of the increase in output was due to a recovery following Hurricane Ida. A 0.9% rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Manufacturing output rose 1.2% (4.4% y/y) last month after declining an unrevised 0.7% in September.

Durable goods production rose 1.3% (5.4% y/y) last month after a 0.7% September fall. Motor vehicle production rebounded 11.0% (-3.6% y/y) following declines of 7.1% and 3.0% in the prior two months. Excluding the motor vehicle sector, factory output rose 0.6% (5.1% y/y) after a 0.2% slip. Elsewhere in the durable goods sector, high-tech product production rose 1.3% (11.0% y/y) after a 0.9% rise in September. Production of electrical equipment, appliances & components fell 1.5% (3.9% y/y) in October after rising 0.9%. Machinery output weakened 1.3% (+5.5% y/y) after rising 0.7% in September. Output of computers & electronic products improved 0.3% (10.3% y/y) in October after falling 0.6% in the prior month. Primary metals production rose 0.7% (10.4% y/y) after falling 0.6% in each of the prior two months while fabricated metals output rose 0.2% (4.9% y/y) last month after a 0.8% September gain.

In the nondurable goods sector, production recovered 1.3% (4.3% y/y) after falling 0.7% in September. Chemical production rose 1.9% (5.8% y/y) after a 2.2% decline. Petroleum & coal product output rose 5.0% (13.7% y/y) after September's 1.6% decline. Food, beverage & tobacco output edged 0.3% higher (1.0% y/y) after holding steady in September, but textile production fell 1.5% (+1.4% y/y) in October after strengthening 2.5% in September. Apparel production held steady (5.5% y/y) after a 0.4% September increase.

Electric & gas utilities production rose 1.2% (3.0% y/y) in October following September's 3.7% decline. Electric power output rebounded 2.5% (4.7% y/y) but natural gas distribution declined 6.0% (-6.6% y/y). Mining output rose 4.1% (11.8% y/y) after two consecutive months of decline.

Capacity utilization rose to 76.4% in October from 75.2% in September. A utilization rate of 76.0% had been expected. In manufacturing, the utilization rate increased to 76.7% last month from 75.8% in September.

Industrial production and capacity are located in Haver's USECON database. Additional detail on production and capacity utilization can be found in the IP database. The expectations figures come from the AS1REPNA database.

Industrial Production (SA, % Change) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2020 2019 2018
Total Output 1.6 -1.3 0.0 5.1 -7.2 -0.8 3.2
Manufacturing 1.2 -0.7 -0.3 4.5 -6.6 -2.0 1.4
   Durable Goods 1.3 -0.7 -0.7 5.4 -8.2 -2.0 3.1
     Motor Vehicles & Parts 11.0 -7.1 -3.0 -3.6 -15.7 -3.0 4.1
     Selected High Tech Equipment 1.3 0.9 0.6 11.0 7.1 3.9 9.0
   Nondurable Goods 1.3 -0.7 -0.1 4.3 -4.4 -1.8 -0.3
Utilities 1.2 -3.7 2.9 3.0 -3.4 -0.8 4.9
Mining 4.1 -2.3 -0.6 11.8 -14.2 5.9 13.0
Capacity Utilization (%) 76.4 75.2 76.2 72.9 71.6 77.4 79.2
   Manufacturing 76.7 75.8 76.4 73.5 71.2 75.8 77.7
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