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U.S. Industrial Production Inches Upward in January

Industrial production in the U.S. increased 0.9% in January, with increases logged across several major sectors. .

Manufacturing output rose 1% in January after having slipped 0.1% in December,  according to the newly released U.S. industrial production report . Among durable goods, gains of 2% or more were recorded for motor vehicles and parts; wood products; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; and nonmetallic mineral products. Output for all of the other major durable goods industries increased, with the exception of furniture and related products, which decreased 1.2 %.

 
In the non-durable goods segment manufacturing activity rose 0.7% in January, after having edged down in December. Gains were recorded for most major components, with particularly large increases for food, beverage, and tobacco products and for apparel and leather products. The output of petroleum and coal products decreased 2.2%, and the output of printing and support moved down 0.8%.
 
Mining output gained 0.7% and capacity utilization rose to 86.2%. After a sizable jump in December, the output of utilities increased 0.7% in January, as an increase in electric utilities was partly offset by a decline in natural gas utilities. The utilization rate for utilities rose to 83.1%.
 
Among market groups, the production of consumer goods increased 1.1% in January, as the production index for consumer durables advanced 2.7% and the index for consumer nondurables rose 0.7%. For durables, increases in all of its major categories contributed to the gain in U.S. industrial production, with the largest contributor being automotive products, which moved up 5.1%.
 
Among consumer nondurables, the output of non-energy goods rose 1.1%, but the output of energy goods decreased 0.5%. The largest gains in production among the major categories of non-energy nondurable goods were for clothing and for foods and tobacco. The decrease for energy goods reflected a drop in gasoline production; residential sales by utilities were little changed.
 
The output of business equipment—a key bellwether sector—rose 0.9% in January, but it remained 3.8% below its year-earlier level. All of its major component indexes advanced: industrial and other equipment gained 0.5%; transit equipment rose 0.9%; and information processing equipment increased 1.7%. January marked the third consecutive monthly gain in output of more than 1% for information processing equipment.
 
The production of defense and space equipment moved up 1.5% after having declined in each of the previous three months. Within nonindustrial supplies, the output of construction supplies rose 1% in January but was 5.3% below its year-earlier level. The production of business supplies advanced 0.5% in January for its eighth consecutive monthly increase.
 
The production of materials moved up 0.8% in January and has averaged gains since June 2009 of about 0.9% per month. The index for durable materials rose 1.3% in January, with similarly sized gains for all of its major components. Production of nondurable materials advanced 0.8%. Among nondurables, the index for chemical materials rose 0.7%, primarily because of an increase in the production of organic chemicals. The output of energy materials edged up 0.1%.
 
To view the full release, as well as related statistics, visit the website for the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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