Mining output surged 1.7 percent in November after a 0.7 percent fall in October, primarily as a result of gains in oil and gas extraction, coal mining, and support activities for mining.
Utilities output rose 3.3 percent in November, following a 0.2 percent advance in October, with increases for both electric and gas utilities; natural gas distribution rose sharply in both October and November, as unseasonably cold weather supported demand for heating.
Meanwhile, manufacturing production was unchanged in November after a 0.1 percent decline in the previous month. Within durable manufacturing (0.2 percent vs -0.1 percent), primary metals posted the largest gain (2.4 percent vs 0.9 percent), followed by machinery (0.5 percent vs 0.8 percent), motor vehicles and parts (0.3 percent vs -3.1 percent), electrical equipment, appliances, and components (0.3 percent vs -0.6 percent), and computer and electronic products (0.2 percent vs -0.2 percent). On the other hand, fabricated metal products output fell 0.1 percent (vs 0.2 percent in October). Among nondurables (-0.2 percent, the same as in October), most major categories posted declines: food, beverage, and tobacco products (-0.5 percent, the same as in October); petroleum and coal products (-1.7 percent vs -1 percent); and printing and support (-1 percent vs -0.9 percent). By contrast, chemicals output grew 0.6 percent (vs 0.2 percent in October).
Capacity utilization for manufacturing edged down in November to 75.7 percent, about 2 1/2 percentage points below its long-run average, as a slight rise for durables was outweighed by declines for nondurables and other manufacturing (publishing and logging). The utilization rate for mining increased to 94.1 percent and remained well above its long-run average of 87.0 percent. The operating rate for utilities moved up to 79.4 percent, a rate that is about 6 percentage points below its long-run average.