A newly released report from the U.S. Federal Reserve showed industrial production dipped slightly, 0.1 percent, during the month of Friday. This on the heels of an increase in production during January.
Some highlights from the report:
The production of consumer goods fell 0.5 percent in February, largely because of weakness in consumer energy products. The output of consumer durable goods rose 2.4 percent, with gains in all of its major categories. The production of consumer automotive products advanced 3.5 percent, and the index for home electronics moved up 1.0 percent. The index for appliances, furniture, and carpeting climbed 3.1 percent, which almost offset its decline over the two previous months, and the production of miscellaneous consumer durables increased 0.6 percent.
The output of non-energy nondurable goods moved down 0.2 percent. Reductions in the production of foods and tobacco, of chemical products, and of paper products more than offset an increase in clothing output. The output of consumer energy products fell 5.2 percent, largely because of a drop in residential sales by electric and natural gas utilities.
Meanwhile, the output of business equipment rose 0.5 percent in February. Within business equipment, the output of transit equipment moved up 1.2 percent in February, and the index for information processing equipment increased 0.6 percent. The production of industrial and other equipment rose 0.2 percent--lower output of farm and construction machinery partly offset gains elsewhere in this category.
The production index for defense and space equipment climbed 1.7 percent in February after posting a small increase in the previous month. Over the past 12 months, this index has risen 4.2 percent.
In the category of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector, output actually rose 0.1 percent in February. The indices for all of the major components of durable materials advanced with the largest gain being a 2 percent increase in consumer parts. Among nondurable materials, increases in the output of textile materials and paper materials were offset by a step-down in the production of chemical materials. The index for energy materials declined 0.2 percent, as drops in coal mining, electricity generation, and natural gas transmission were partly offset by gains elsewhere.
Manufacturing output rose 0.4 percent in February, with capacity utilization for manufacturing moving up 0.2 percentage point to 74.3 percent. Over the past 12 months the level of factory production has climbed almost 7 percent.
The production of durable goods advanced 0.9 percent in February, with widespread gains across several major categories. The output of motor vehicles and parts rose 4.2 percent following an increase of 4.5 percent in January; since December 2010, total motor vehicle assemblies have risen about 1 million units to an annual rate of 8.5 million units. Sizable gains also were recorded in February in wood products; nonmetallic mineral products; computer and electronic products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; furniture and related products; and miscellaneous manufacturing. Among other industries, the indices for fabricated metal products and for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment recorded small increases, the index for machinery was unchanged, and the index for primary metals decreased.
See the complete report on U.S. industrial production for February for more information.