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U.S. Industrial Production Rises 0.4% in June

Uptick attributed to second-quarter activity in motor vehicle and parts production.

A newly released report from the Federal Reserve showed industrial production increased 0.4 percent in June after having declined 0.2 percent in May. The largest contribution to the increase in the second quarter overall came from motor vehicles and parts, which climbed 18.2%.

Following are some highlights from the report:

Market Groups

The production of consumer goods edged up 0.1 percent in June after having moved down a similar amount in May. For the second quarter as a whole, output rose at an annual rate of 1.3 percent: Increases in consumer energy products and consumer durables were partly offset by a decline in non-energy nondurables. Following a decrease of 1.4 percent in May, the output of consumer durables rose 0.9 percent in June; the index for automotive products increased 1.5 percent, the index for home electronics decreased 1.3 percent, and the indexes for other categories were little changed.

The output of consumer nondurables edged down 0.1 percent, with slight declines in both the energy and non-energy categories. Among non-energy nondurables, a large decrease for clothing and a small decrease for foods and tobacco were mostly offset by a large increase in paper products and a smaller increase in chemical products.

The production of business equipment rose 1.6 percent in June, after having edged up 0.1 percent in May. Similarly sized gains were seen in each of its major components: transit equipment, information processing equipment, and industrial and other equipment. In the second quarter, the overall index for business equipment advanced at an annual rate of 11.6 percent, somewhat slower than its gain of 17.0 percent in the first quarter but faster than its increase of 8.0 percent over 2011.

The output of defense and space equipment moved down 0.6 percent in June. A strike at a major producer of military aircraft contributed to a decline of 5.5 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the output of materials to be processed further in the industrial sector rose 0.5 percent in June after having decreased 0.2 percent in May.

Industry Groups

Manufacturing output advanced 0.7 percent in June and increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter. Within manufacturing, the production index for durable goods rose 0.8 percent during the month after having declined 0.6 percent in May. Most durable goods industries exhibited gains in June, with the largest increases registered by machinery, which advanced 2.3 percent, and motor vehicles and parts, which rose 1.9 percent. For the second quarter as a whole, durable goods manufacturing moved up at an annual rate of 6.2 percent, a pace only slightly slower than its increase of 7.2 percent during 2011 but substantially slower than its gain of 16.3 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The production of nondurables advanced 0.5 percent in June after having fallen 0.7 percent in May. Among the major components of nondurables, sizable increases were recorded in June by the indexes for textile and product mills, printing and support, petroleum and coal products, chemicals, and plastics and rubber products. Output in this sector decreased at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the second quarter, with declines in most industry groups; only the indexes for printing and support and for plastics and rubber products posted increases.

The complete June 2012 U.S. industrial production report, which includes data on capacity utilization, is available online.

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