According to the Federal Reserve, the index for manufacturing output rose 0.2 percent in August after having advanced 0.7 percent in July; the step-down in the rate of increase reflected a fallback in the production of motor vehicles and parts, which had jumped sharply in July. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing output increased 0.5 percent in August after having gained 0.2 percent in July.
Production at mines moved up 1.2 percent in August, while the output of utilities moved down 1.5 percent. The capacity utilization rate for total industry rose to 74.7 percent, a rate 4.7 percentage points above the rate from a year earlier and 5.9 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.
With respect to market groups, the output of consumer goods declined 0.4 percent in August after having risen 0.8 percent in July. In August, the index for consumer durables fell 3.0 percent, with decreases occurring in all of its major components. The output of automotive products recorded the largest drop, 5.2 percent, and the output of appliances, furniture, and carpeting declined 2.1 percent. The decreases in other categories were small.
The production of nondurable consumer goods rose 0.3 percent; a gain of 1.0 percent in the non-energy category more than offset a decline in the energy category. Within non-energy nondurables, the indexes for foods and tobacco, for clothing, and for paper products each moved up more than 1.0 percent, and the index for chemical products increased 0.6 percent after having declined for four consecutive months. The production of consumer energy goods fell 2.2 percent in August.
The output of business equipment rose 0.7 percent in August after a gain of 1.0 percent in July. Among business equipment categories, the output of transit equipment increased 1.4 percent in August, and the indexes for information processing equipment and for industrial and other equipment recorded smaller gains. The production of transit equipment was boosted by an advance in the output of civilian aircraft. The index for defense and space equipment fell 0.3 percent after having jumped 1.9 percent in July.
The output of construction supplies rose 0.8 percent in August following a decline of 0.3 percent in July. The index for business supplies was unchanged in August; the output of non-energy business supplies increased 0.4 percent and offset a drop in the sales by utilities to commercial businesses.
The entire August U.S. industrial production report is available online.