A newly released report from the Federal Reserve showed U.S. industrial production fell slightly during the month of May, after gaining 1.0% in April.
Following is a summary of the report:
The production of consumer goods declined 0.2 percent in May after having climbed 1.4 percent in April. Within consumer goods, the output of durables fell 1.3 percent in May, with none of the major categories registering an increase. Specifically, the production of automotive products moved down 1.9 percent, the output of home electronics was unchanged, the output of appliances, furniture, and carpeting decreased 0.5 percent, and the index for miscellaneous consumer durables declined 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, the output of consumer nondurables edged up 0.1 percent, as a gain in the energy category was mostly offset by a decline in non-energy nondurables.
The output of defense and space equipment dropped 2.2 percent in May, in large part because of a strike at a major military aircraft facility. Among nonindustrial supplies, the output of construction supplies decreased 1.2 percent in May.
In other categories, the output of business equipment rose 0.3 percent in May. Among its major components, the index for transit equipment moved up 0.5 percent, the index for information processing equipment edged down 0.2 percent, and the index for industrial and other equipment increased 0.4 percent. The output of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector rose 0.1 percent in May after having increased 0.6 percent in April. The output of durable materials decreased 0.5 percent in May; output moved lower for all three of its major components.
The production of nondurable materials fell 0.6 percent because of losses in chemical materials and paper materials. The index for energy materials strengthened 1.1 percent mostly as a result of increases for crude oil extraction, coal mining, and electricity generation.
Mmanufacturing output decreased 0.4 percent after having advanced 0.7 percent in April. The production index for durable goods declined 0.5 percent during the month after having posted a gain of 1.4 percent in April. Durable goods industries with decreases of more than 1 percent in May included nonmetallic mineral products, primary metals, motor vehicles and parts, and furniture and related products. The largest increase among major durable goods industries was for wood products, which moved up 1.0 percent, and smaller gains were recorded by fabricated metals; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; and miscellaneous manufacturing.
The production of nondurables decreased 0.2 percent in May, its third consecutive month without a gain. The index has risen 1.4 percent in the last 12 months; capacity utilization edged down 0.1 percentage point in May to 78.4 percent, a rate 2.5 percentage points below its long-run average.
The complete May U.S. industrial production report is available online.