US Industrial Output Rises More than Expected in April

US industrial production increased by 0.7 percent month-over-month in April 2018, the same pace as in March and beating market expectations of a 0.6 percent gain. It was the third consecutive monthly increase in output, boosted by advances in both manufacturing and mining production while utilities growth slowed.

Manufacturing production rose 0.5 percent in April, after showing no growth in the previous month. Durable manufacturing went up 0.4 percent (vs 0.2 percent in March), as output rose for machinery (2.3 percent vs -1.1 percent) and computer and electronic products (1.2 percent vs 0.5 percent), but fell for motor vehicles and parts (-1.3 percent vs 2.8 percent) and fabricated metal products (-0.5 percent vs 0.1 percent). In addition, nondurable manufacturing grew 0.5 percent, recovering from a 0.1 percent decline in March, driven by rising output of food, beverage, and tobacco products (0.6 percent vs -1.1 percent), petroleum and coal products (1.2 percent vs 0.3 percent), and chemicals (0.5 percent vs 1.3 percent).

Mining output rose 1.1 percent in April, following a 0.8 percent gain in March, mostly as a result of further gains in the oil and gas sector but was tempered by a drop in coal mining.

The index for utilities advanced 1.9 percent in April after a 6.1 percent jump in March, as output rose for both natural gas (10.3 percent vs 17 percent), as a result of strong demand for heating due to below-normal temperatures; and electric (0.5 percent vs 4.5 percent).

Capacity utilization for the industrial sector climbed 0.4 percentage point in April to 78.0 percent, a rate that is 1.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.

US Industrial Output Rises More than Expected in April

Federal Reserve | Joana Ferreira |
5/16/2018 1:28:42 PM