US Industrial Production Up to 3-Month High


Industrial production increased 0.6 percent in February of 2014 after having declined 0.2 percent in January. Manufacturing output rose 0.8 percent and nearly reversed its decline of 0.9 percent in January, which resulted, in part, from extreme weather. The gain in factory production in February was the largest since last August.

Manufacturing production recorded an increase of 0.8 percent in February after having decreased 0.9 percent in January. Much of the swing in the rates of change for production in January and February reflected the depressing effects on output of the severe weather in January and the subsequent return to more normal levels of production in February. The level of factory output in February was 1.5 percent above its year-earlier level.

The production of durable goods rose 0.9 percent in February and was 2.7 percent above its year-earlier level. Large increases in February for several categories of durables more than offset large decreases in other categories. The biggest gain was in the output of motor vehicles and parts, which advanced 4.8 percent; the indexes for machinery and fabricated metal products each moved up around 1.5 percent. Smaller increases were recorded in the indexes for computer and electronic products, for aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment, and for miscellaneous goods. Production losses of about 1 percent or more were registered for wood products; nonmetallic mineral products; primary metals; electrical equipment, appliances, and components; and furniture and related products.

Nondurable manufacturing output rose 0.7 percent in February after having dropped 1.1 percent in January; production in February was 0.5 percent above its level of a year earlier. Increases of about 1 percent were recorded in the indexes for food, beverage, and tobacco products; paper; chemicals; and plastics and rubber products. Decreases of between 0.3 and 1.0 percent were recorded in the indexes for textile and product mills, for apparel and leather, for printing and support, and for petroleum and coal products.
The output of non-NAICS manufacturing industries (publishing and logging) increased 1.0 percent in February after having recorded declines of 1.0 percent or more in each of the previous four months.

Mining output moved up 0.3 percent in February to a level 6.1 percent higher than a year earlier. Capacity utilization at mines decreased 0.1 percentage point to 89.1 percent in February, but it remained 1.7 percentage points above its long-run average. Output at utilities edged down 0.2 percent but remained elevated because of the strong demand for heating due to the unusually cold weather. The operating rate for utilities declined 0.2 percentage point to 83.3 percent, a rate 2.7 percentage points below its long-run average.

The capacity utilization rate for total industry increased in February to 78.8 percent, a rate that is 1.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2013) average.

US Industrial Production Up to 3-Month High


Federal Reserve | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
3/17/2014 1:28:28 PM