Mining output continued to shrink in January (-1 percent vs -0.4 percent in December), while manufacturing production was unchanged for the second consecutive month. Durable manufacturing went up 0.2 percent, the same pace as in the previous month, as output rose for machinery (0.6 percent vs -0.1 percent), motor vehicles and parts (0.6 percent vs 1.1 percent) and computer and electronic products (1.3 percent vs 0.7 percent). By contrast, nondurable manufacturing was flat, following a decline of 0.3 percent in December. Chemicals production grew 0.4 percent (vs -0.7 percent in December), while food, beverage, and tobacco products output contracted 0.4 percent (vs 0.2 percent).
Meanwhile, utilities output rose 0.6 percent in January, easing from a 4.6 percent jump in the previous month, with electric production growing by 0.5 percent (vs 4.4 percent in December) and natural gas advancing by 1.2 percent (vs 6.5 percent).
Compared to the same month of 2017, industrial production rose 3.7 percent in January, as output rose for utilities (10.8 percent), mining (8.8 percent) and manufacturing (1.8 percent).
Capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell 0.2 percentage point in January to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 2.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.