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U.S. Industrial Production Unchanged in February

Declines in the output of automotive products, appliances, etc., only partly offset by gains in the production of both home electronics and miscellaneous goods.

Newly released data from the Federal Reserve showed U.S. industrial production in February was largely unchanged compared to the previous month.

Following is a breakout of the major market/industry groups:

Market Groups

The index for durable consumer goods decreased 0.5 percent, as declines in the output of automotive products and of appliances, furniture, and carpeting were only partly offset by gains in the production of both home electronics and miscellaneous goods. The production of nondurable consumer goods edged up 0.1 percent. The index for consumer energy products rose 0.6 percent, with small gains in both fuels and residential utilities. The output of non-energy nondurable consumer goods was steady, as a step-up for foods and tobacco was offset by lower output for clothing, chemical products, and paper products.

In February, the production of business equipment rose 0.6 percent and was 10.8 percent above its year-earlier level. The index for information processing equipment moved up 1.0 percent last month for its third consecutive gain of 1 percent or more. The production of transit equipment increased 0.9 percent; over the 12 months ending in February, this index advanced 24.4 percent, with large gains in the output of trucks, civilian aircraft, railroad rolling stock, and miscellaneous transportation equipment. The output of industrial and other equipment increased 0.2 percent in February, its seventh consecutive monthly rise. The index for defense and space equipment advanced 1.1 percent in February following a gain of 0.8 percent in January.

The production of construction supplies rose 1.1 percent in February. This index has advanced 7.5 percent over the past 12 months but nevertheless remained more than 20 percent below its level preceding the recession. The index for business supplies moved up 0.2 percent in February after a similarly sized gain in January.
The output of materials to be further processed in the industrial sector moved down 0.3 percent in February.

The index for durable materials was up 0.5 percent after having advanced 1 percent or more in each of the three previous months. Among the major categories of durable materials, both equipment parts and other durable materials rose in February, but consumer parts fell. The production of nondurable materials decreased 0.3 percent, with losses in chemical materials partly offset by increases for both textile and paper materials. The output index for energy materials fell 0.9 percent, its third consecutive monthly decline.

Industry Groups

Manufacturing output increased 0.3 percent in February to a level that was 5.1 percent higher than a year earlier. Within manufacturing, the output of durable goods increased 0.4 percent and was 8.5 percent above its year-earlier level. Output gains of more than 1 percent were recorded in February for nonmetallic mineral products; fabricated metal products; aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment; and electrical equipment, appliances, and components. Production declined for primary metals, machinery, and motor vehicles and parts during the month of February. Each of these indices had risen briskly in January.

The production of nondurable goods edged up 0.1 percent in February. Among the major components of nondurables, the indices for petroleum and coal products and for plastics and rubber products posted the largest increases. Production also rose for food, beverage, and tobacco products; textile and product mills; and paper. The only major indices that posted declines were for apparel and leather and for chemicals.

Mining production decreased 1.2 percent during the month, as the extraction of natural gas declined for a second consecutive month; coal production also fell. Capacity utilization in mining decreased to 90.5 percent but was still 3.1 percentage points above its long-run average. The output of utilities was unchanged, in part as temperatures in February stayed mild following an unseasonably warm January. The operating rate for utilities in February decreased to 74.3 percent, a rate 12.1 percentage points below its long-run average.

The complete U.S. industrial production report for February is available online.

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Automotive  •  Electronics  •  Industry Trends & Happenings

 

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