According to the Federal Reserve Report, U.S. industrial production was likely stunted due to the winter storms in the Northeast, analysts said. Following is a breakout by category:
The output of durable goods fell 0.3% in February, after having risen 1.7% in January, and was 2.1 % above its year-earlier level. In February, motor vehicles and parts fell 4.4% and nonmetallic mineral products declined 1.6%. Computer and electronic products rose 1%, with electrical equipment, appliances, and components increasing by 0.9%. The indexes for primary metals, furniture and related products, and miscellaneous manufacturing fell slightly, while the indexes for wood products, fabricated metal products, machinery, and aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment rose slightly.
Non-durable manufacturing edged down 0.1% in February, after having risen 0.4% in January, and was 1.9 % above its year-earlier level. The largest change in February was an increase of 2.2% for petroleum and coal products; results were mixed among other major components of non-durables.
Mining output gained 2% during the month, with capacity utilization rising to 88.2%. The output of utilities rose 0.5%, as an increase in electric utilities more than offset a decline in natural gas utilities. Capacity utilization for utilities rose 0.3 percentage points to 83.1%.
The production of consumer goods fell 0.4% in February. The index for consumer durables fell 2.3%, while the index for consumer non-durables edged up 0.1%. The decline in consumer durables was led by a drop of 4.4% in automotive products; other major components registered small declines.
Despite the decrease in February, the output of consumer durables was up 9.2% from its year-earlier level as a result of an increase of 27% in automotive products; the indexes for the other major components of consumer durables were below their year-earlier levels. Among consumer non-durables in February, the output of non-energy goods fell 0.3%, with declines in all of the indices major components.
The output of business equipment rose 0.4% in February but remained 0.7% below its year-earlier level. Information processing equipment advanced 1.2%, about its average rate of increase over the previous three months. Industrial and other equipment moved up 0.3% while transit equipment fell 0.9 %, the fifth consecutive monthly decline for this index.
The production of defense and space equipment rose 1.3% in February and was 5.7 % above its year-earlier level. Within non-industrial supplies, the output of construction supplies moved up 0.3% but was 4.5 % below its year-earlier level. The production of business supplies edged down 0.1% after having risen for eight consecutive months.
View the full February Industrial Production report online.